Pacers shock Knicks with historic Game 7 offensive onslaught, move on to Eastern Conference Finals

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In a win-or-go-home Game 7, the No. 6 Indiana Pacers shocked the No. 2 New York Knicks on the road, shooting an incredible 67.1% to win, 130-109, and earn their spot in the Eastern Conference Finals against the No. 1 Boston Celtics. 

The Pacers were 1-5 on the road in these playoffs heading into Game 7, but that didn’t matter from the very start of this game. The Pacers were knocking down everything they got on their offensive end, finding wide open looks and draining buckets. By the end of the first quarter, they had hit 16 of their 21 shots, including seven of nine makes from three-point territory to take a 39-27 lead. 

But this wasn’t a one-quarter wonder. Indiana continued to light it up from the field to the point where they ended the first half up 15 points, shooting 76% from the field. It was the best mark in the playoffs for a shooting half in the last 25 years. 

That’s the type of performance you want to see from your team on the road in a must-win game to keep the season alive, and it was the Pacers’ stars – Tyrese Haliburton and Pascal Siakam – getting the job done.

Haliburton led the Pacers with 26 points, including 6 of 12 from three-point land for the day. He was walking the walk and certainly the talking, too, as he was seen confidently pointing and talking to Knicks players and the celebrity fans in the first row at Madison Square Garden. 

Siakam was also highly efficient, going 8 of 15 from the field for 20 points with four rebounds.

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Meanwhile, the Knicks did not get the Game 7 performance they had hoped from Jalen Brunson, who was 6 of 17 from the field for 17 points. And to make matters worse, he couldn’t play the entire fourth quarter after suffering a fractured left hand.

Injuries have destroyed the Knicks throughout the postseason. Josh Hart and OG Anunoby were questionable heading into this game, but they would both start. Anunoby, who has been out since Game 2 with a hamstring injury, made his two shots in the first quarter for five points and played just under five minutes. But he was clearly hobbling and didn’t play the rest of the game. 

Hart played his usual high minutes but struggled shooting, going 3 of 9, including 0-for-4 from three. He had eight rebounds and five assists as well.

Jalen Brunson prayer hands

While the Knicks did see great bench scoring from veteran Alec Burks (26 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists), the Pacers’ depth was once again on full display in the form of point guard T.J. McConnell. He went 6 of 8 from the field for 12 points with seven assists as the Knicks had no answer yet again for his quick drives and shifty movements in the lane. Isaiah Jackson also added nine points for the Pacers.

Every single starter would finish in double figures scoring as Aaron Nesmith was a perfect 8 of 8 from the field for 19 points, Myles Turner was 7 of 11 for 17 points, and Andrew Nembhard was 8 of 10 with 20 points.

For the Knicks, Donte DiVincenzo was trying his hardest to cut into the Pacers’ lead, which ended up getting down to six at one point in the third quarter. But it was to no avail.

DiVincenzo finished with a game-high 39 points on 11 of 21 shooting, including 9 of 15 from three. 

The Pacers caught fire at just the right time in this series, especially after head coach Rick Carlisle said it was embarrassing how they were blown out at MSG in Game 5. They answered the bell in Game 6, and despite another wild Knicks crowd starting this game, they silenced it real quick with an incredible offensive performance that gives them tons of momentum heading into the conference finals.

Tyrese Haliburton reacts

Indiana hopes to continue its playoff run against the Celtics, who took down the Cleveland Cavaliers in five games in their second-round series. 

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