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Pacers final score: Pacers bury Bulls 125-122 on Tyrese Haliburton game winner

Tyrese Haliburton hit a deep three with under three seconds on the clock, lifting Indiana to a road win over Chicago. He finished with 29 points and 11 assists.

Indiana Pacers v Chicago Bulls

Tyrese Haliburton came through at the biggest moment, lifting the Indiana Pacers to a win over the Chicago Bulls on a deep three with 2.7 seconds remaining.

It was the final dagger in a lengthy back and forth between the Pacers and Bulls, with eight lead changes taking place in the final five minutes. It’s no surprise Haliburton had his hand in most of those lead changes, scoring or assisting on the final 13 points of the game, down to the game winning three.

Haliburton was paramount to Indiana’s success from the jump, when a series of turnovers and miscues set up the Bulls to jump out to a 14-5 lead. Not looking to replicate the last two wins over Chicago, each featuring 20-point deficits, Haliburton took charge, twice cutting into a three possession deficit to keep the game in reach, scoring 16 points in the opening quarter, hitting four triples in the process.

The Pacers once again found themselves down by 10 once Haliburton checked out, but five points to close the quarter from Bennedict Mathurin and Chris Duarte cut the lead in half, beating the buzzer to end the first.

That was the start of a red-hot first half from Duarte, hitting three more threes early in the second quarter to give Indiana their first lead at 47-44. Mathurin meanwhile worked his way to the line, scoring nine of his own, pushing the lead out to double figures midway through the quarter.

Myles Turner got in on the fun once the starters returned, scoring six, including a fantastic sequence blocking Zach LaVine at the rim and running to the basket for a jam courtesy of a spinning Haliburton. The block was Turner’s 1,112th with the Pacers, passing Rik Smits for second in franchise history in blocks.

LaVine willed the Bulls back into the game from that point, however, cutting the deficit to four, but Indiana managed to again end a quarter on a high note, with Haliburton drawing the double team, finding a wide open Oshae Brissett for his own end of quarter bucket, extending the lead to seven.

That capped a brilliant 37-25 quarter for the Pacers, the only quarter of the game the Pacers would actually end up winning. They shot 65% in the second, which proved helpful considering Chicago shot 64% in the first half themselves. The Pacers were able to force the Bulls into six second quarter turnovers. They were also able to get a huge lift from their bench, outscoring Chicago’s second unit 40-7 in the half.

The Bulls continued to push in the third quarter, but Indiana did a good job keeping them at bay, getting a bit of help from the home team in the process. With the Bulls on a 6-0 run late in the quarter to trim the lead to two, they committed a costly delay technical, setting up a four point play for the Pacers, instantly pushing the lead back out to six.

The Pacers also remained lethal at the end of quarters, taking another two-point lead and pushing it back out to six on back-to-back buckets from Haliburton, including a running buzzer beater that saw Haliburton wind around the Chicago defense in less than three seconds, getting the floater to go.

Indiana led 95-89 after three quarter and blanked Chicago in end of quarter buckets 8-0. Each of those points proved crucial down the stretch when the Bulls finally took the lead down the stretch with LaVine scoring five straight to put the Bulls on top 111-108 with under five to go. The Pacers scored the next four, courtesy of Buddy Hield and Jordan Nwora only to have LaVine again flip the score on a three pointer.

A traveling call put the ball back in Indiana’s hand, setting up Haliburton for a jumper, freezing the Chicago defense long enough to knock down the midrange to tie the game. On the play, Patrick Beverley got his foot under Haliburton’s, leading to Haliburton turning his ankle.

Haliburton was ginger following the shot, but remained on the floor, knocking down the flagrant free throw and finding Turner for the tough finish, capping a five-point possession for the Pacers, putting them up 117-114. Not to be outdone in the midrange, DeMar DeRozan scored he next four, giving the Bulls a one-point lead for roughly 13 seconds when Haliburton found Mathurin for the go-ahead dunk.

That lead lasted for longer than 24 seconds, but not longer than a single possession as rebounding threatened to derail Indiana’s positive night, allowing two offensive boards on the next play, giving LaVine and the Bulls three cracks at the basket, regaining the lead on a jumper. Back on the other end, Haliburton handed the ball off to Hield, who knocked in the triple, giving Indiana a 122-120 lead with 34 seconds remaining.

On the defensive end, the Pacers were again able to force a miss, but this time it resulted in foul shots as Mathurin fouled LaVine on a three point shot. That gave LaVine an opportunity for a ninth lead change in the final five minutes, but missed the final of the three free throws, leaving the game deadlocked at 122-122.

Rick Carlisle opted to not use a timeout, allowing Haliburton the chance to play for the win. Beverley took on the role of defending Haliburton. He defended well, but got snagged just slightly on a screen from Turner, giving Haliburton enough space to pull up from the bull’s horn, giving the Pacers the winning bucket.

It was the 11th end of quarter point for the Pacers, an excellent display of the value of final possessions. Haliburton scored five in that situation, closing out a 29-point night on an efficient 11-17 shooting, 6-9 from three. He also had 11 assists to complete the triple double. He didn’t seem overly concerned in the post-game interview about his ankle, but with Indiana on the first half of a back-to-back, his availability with be worth keeping an eye on.

Joining him in double figures was Turner, scoring 16 points with three blocks. Turner was also incredibly efficient, shooting 8-13 despite missing all four of his three point attempts. Nwora scored 10 in his first start with the Pacers, spelling Aaron Nesmith.

The bench finished with 57 points, led by Mathurin with 17 points. Mathurin was also 0-4 from three, but did work his way to the line, making all seven of his attempts and helping minimize a fairly healthy free throw deficit on a night the Pacers were outscored 22-13 at the line.

Duarte made five threes, scoring 15 points on 5-8 from deep. Duarte was not only a timely scorer tonight, he was perhaps their best man defender as well, locking in during stretches to help force the Bulls in to 14 turnovers on the night, giving Indiana a 24-14 win in points off turnovers.

Brissett was the sixth man in double figures, playing his first game since the All-Star break and making the most of it. He shot 4-7 and 2-5 from three, putting himself in the right spot throughout the game. Their play helped overcome a poor shooting night from Hield, who had nine on 3-9 shooting, but saved his best for last on a go-ahead three. He also had six rebounds.

Isaiah Jackson had six points, but led the Pacers with seven rebounds, five on the offensive glass. Indiana actually won the rebounding battle tonight, pulling in 13 offensive rebounds to just four for Chicago, outscoring the Bulls 20-8 in the process. T.J. McConnell meanwhile had nine points and six assists, pulling in two offensive boards himself.

The Pacers finish up their four game road trip 3-1, their first winning trip on a four-game or longer road trip in three years. The win gives them a 3-1 season series win over Chicago, granting them the tiebreaker for 11th as both teams currently sit at 29-36. Indiana isn’t used to moving up in the standings lately, but got to do so tonight, though how long that will last remains to be seen as they return home for a stiff test against the Philadelphia 76ers on the second night of a back-to-back tomorrow night.