Pacers defeat Knicks 130-109 in Game 7 and advance to Eastern Conference finals

Pacers defeat Knicks 130-109 in Game 7 and advance to Eastern Conference finals
Pacers defeat Knicks 130-109 in Game 7 and advance to Eastern Conference finals

NEW YORK (AP) — Tyrese Haliburton scored 26 points and the Indiana Pacers put together one of the most sensational first halves in Game 7 history to earn a 130-109 victory over the New York Knicks on Sunday, advancing to the Eastern Conference finals for the first time in 10 years.

The Pacers made 29 of their 38 shots in the first half, a 76.3% shooting percentage that was the highest in the postseason since 1997, when the NBA began keeping detailed play-by-play records for every period. They led 70-55 at the time and ran away every time the Knicks tried to rally in the second half.

The Pacers, sixth in the standings, set an NBA playoff record by finishing with 67.1% in the game and advanced to face the favorite, Boston, in a series that begins Tuesday. The last time Indiana had reached the conference finals was in 2014, when they lost to Miami.

Jalen Brunson left the game in the second half with a fracture in his left hand, one more injury for the beaten Knicks, who suffered all year with them.

They brought back OG Anunoby for Sunday after missing four games with a strained left hamstring, but he was clearly not moving well and was taken out of the game after just five minutes.

Pascal Siakam and Andrew Nembhard each scored 20 points and Aaron Nesmith finished 8 of 8 en route to scoring 19 points for the Pacers.

Donte DiVincenzo hit nine 3-pointers and scored 39 points for the Knicks, who were trying to reach the conference finals for the first time since 2000 but couldn’t overcome the losses of Julius Randle, Mitchell Robinson and Bojan Bogdanovic, before losing Anunoby and finally Brunson .

Brunson finished with 17 points and nine assists, going 6 for 17 after scoring 40 or more points five times this postseason. Alec Burks came off the bench to record 26 points.

 
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