Haliburton and the Pacers capitalize on the Knicks’ shortage of players to tie the series with a dominant 121-89 victory in Game 4

Published Categorized as NBA No Comments on Haliburton and the Pacers capitalize on the Knicks’ shortage of players to tie the series with a dominant 121-89 victory in Game 4
Myles Turner tries to block a shot by Isaih Hartenstein

After three close games, the Indiana Pacers got off to a strong start in Game 4. The New York Knicks, who were missing some key players, couldn’t keep up with the Pacers.

Tyrese Haliburton scored 20 points, while T.J. McConnell had 15 points and 10 assists as the Pacers dominated the Knicks 121-89. This win, the third-largest in Pacers’ playoff history, leveled the series at 2-2.

The next game, Game 5, will be held at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday.

Haliburton commented, “We just did what we had to do.” He had six rebounds, and five assists, and made four 3-pointers. “When playing at home, it’s important to defend your home court, and that’s what we did. We know Game 5 is crucial, and we’ll be ready.”

Unlike the previous games that were decided in the final moments, Game 4 saw the Pacers leading by as much as 43 points, the largest deficit any playoff team has faced in these playoffs.

Although the Pacers played exceptionally well, they didn’t quite match their two biggest playoff victories: a 34-point win against Cleveland in April 2018 and a 33-point victory against the Lakers in the 2000 NBA Finals.

On the other hand, the Knicks struggled throughout the game and couldn’t seem to get anything right.

Tyrese Haliburton celebrates after making a three-pointer

Pascal Siakam and Obi Toppin both scored 14 points, while Aaron Nesmith grabbed 12 rebounds for the Pacers. They shot well, making 56.8% of their shots from the field and 45.2% from beyond the arc. They quickly erased their only deficit of the game, which occurred just 44 seconds into the game.

The Knicks, missing four key players due to injuries once again, seemed tired.

Alec Burks scored 20 points for New York. Brunson, who had been averaging a league-best 34.6 points per game in the postseason, only scored 18 points this time. The Knicks struggled with their shooting, making only 33.7% of their shots from the field and 18.9% from 3-point range.

They were close to suffering their worst playoff loss ever, with their record of 41 points coming from a game against Chicago in April 1991.

Brunson wasn’t the only one having a tough game. Donte DiVincenzo, who scored 35 points in Game 3, only scored seven points this time. Both guards struggled to make shots, shooting a combined 9 of 30 from the field and 1 of 11 from 3-point range.

Brunson commented, “We can talk about having fresher legs and receiving pity, but that won’t change anything. Yes, we’re short-handed, but that’s not an excuse. We have to play with what we have. If we lose, we lose. That’s how it is.”

Once again, the Pacers drew energy from the nearly packed Gainbridge Fieldhouse, where they now hold a perfect 5-0 record. Game 6 will be back in Indianapolis on Friday.

Donte Divincenzo drives forward to complete the basket

Among the spectators at courtside were Indiana-native singer John Mellencamp, Indianapolis 500 champions Scott Dixon and Dario Franchitti, and former Pacers players Dale Davis and Derrick McKey. They witnessed the Pacers’ most dominant performance of the series.

Without forwards OG Anunoby, Bojan Bogdanovic, and Julius Randle, as well as center Mitchell Robinson, the Knicks struggled, scoring only 14 points in the first quarter and 41 points in the first half, which were their lowest scores in the first 10 playoff games this season.

As a result, the outcome was quite expected. “We started slowly, they made shots, got a big lead, and it snowballed,” commented Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau. “I thought we missed some wide-open shots early, which probably drained our energy, and we can’t let that happen.”

The Pacers, however, didn’t make that mistake. Haliburton’s first 3-pointer gave Indiana the lead at 5-2, and the Pacers then went on a decisive 29-7 run in the first quarter, leading to a score of 34-11.

New York struggled to bounce back. Although they narrowed the gap to 36-19 early in the second quarter, Indiana responded with 10 consecutive points. By halftime, the Pacers had extended their lead to 69-41.

The situation worsened in the second half.

Precious Achiuwa completes the basket

By the end of the third quarter, Indiana was leading 101-63. The deficit was so significant that both teams benched their starters for the entire fourth quarter. Indiana’s 43-point lead in the final quarter was the third time this season they held such a large margin. For New York, it was the first time they trailed by that much since December 5, 2019, spanning 388 games.

However, for the Pacers, this victory wasn’t a cause for celebration but rather a step forward in their journey. Their coach, Rick Carlisle, emphasized the importance of humility and staying focused as they head back to New York.

“We did what was necessary—protected our home court,” said Carlisle. “I’m not going to boast about our team’s greatness because we’re only halfway to our goal. We need to remain humble and prepared for what lies ahead on Tuesday.”


By Christopher Kamila

I am an experienced content writer with a specialization in WordPress. I have written engaging articles for various websites that have achieved a total of 5,500 monthly views. In addition, I have played a key role in boosting their organic traffic by 30% and achieving top Google rankings through SEO. My passion lies in creating user-friendly content.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *