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Tyrese Haliburton wins Clutch Challenge, Team Isiah falls in Rising Stars Finals

Team Isiah surrendered a 13-2 run in a Finals loss to Team Barry. Tyrese Haliburton dished 11 assists in the two games, winning the Clutch Challenge with Desmond Bane in the meantime.

Clorox NBA Rising Stars Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images

An exciting night for Tyrese Haliburton fell short in the Rising Stars Challenge Finals as Team Barry staged a big comeback on Team Isiah to take the championship 25-20. Though it didn’t end as Isiah had hoped after a pair of quick starts, the Indiana Pacers were well represented by Haliburton, who didn’t go home empty handed.

The Rising Stars Challenge took on a new look this year, with four teams playing in a tournament that first saw the teams play to 50 points in the first round and then 25 in the finals. This seemed to benefit Isiah in both games, especially the first when they jumped out to a 35-25 advantage against Team Worthy.

Worthy would come back and eventually take the lead behind a big time effort from Jalen Green, but free throw shooting would prove fatal when Josh Giddey missed both on a trip. Haliburton was locked in a distributor in the first game, dishing seven assists, but his biggest play came on a fast break when he fouled Jalen Suggs to send him to the line with a chance to win the game.

Suggs hit the first, but missed the second, allowing Isiah to head back down the other way to get fouled themselves. Desmond Bane would win the game at the line, sealing the thrilling 50-49 victory for Team Isiah after being set up by a big three point block from Saddiq Bey on Green.

Team Barry and Chris Duarte’s Team Payton would play a similar game down the stretch, with Barry escaping at the end with a 50-48 win on a layup from Jae’Sean Tate.

Before the finals between Isiah and Barry, Haliburton and Bane took part in the Clutch Challenge, featuring five hot spots from some of the NBA’s greatest shots, of course including Reggie Miller’s push off game winner against Michael Jordan and the Bulls in the 1998 Eastern Conference Finals.

Giddey and Evan Mobley would set the mark in the opener, going 4-4 in the closer shots, but had a tough time hitting Damian Lillard’s logo shot that clinched a series victory against Paul George and the Thunder. They would finish it in 49.7 seconds, setting up Haliburton and Bane.

Haliburton hit on all four of the closer shots with Bane missing his three attempts. Bane would come through in the end, hitting the logo shot and clinching the Clutch Challenge win in 39.1 seconds.

Returning to the court for the second game, Isiah appeared poised to take advantage of Barry’s potential fatigue by taking a commanding 18-10 lead, but the offense dried up in a big way for Isiah, allowing Barry to stage an impressive 13-2 comeback for the win. Haliburton had four more assists and two steals in the second game, setting up Precious Achiuwa to be the bulk of Isiah’s offense, scoring 12.

Achiuwa was so confident in his play that off an offensive rebound, he looked off a wide open Bane to take a corner three, one that sailed past the rim and into Barry’s waiting hands. The miss proved costly as Barry closed out the win, with a surprising defensive effort from both ends leaving Isiah shooting 7-24 in the final game.

The Rising Stars Challenge was an exciting way to kick off All-Star Weekend this year and there’s no doubt the tournament setup was a big success. For the Pacers, that will be a wrap on their All-Star involvement this year, but between tomorrow night’s three point and dunk contests and Sunday’s All-Star Game, there will still be plenty worth checking out.