INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — All-Star guard Tyrese Haliburton recorded the first triple-double of his career and completed a tiebreaking four-point play with 1:33 left as the surprising Indiana Pacers ousted the Boston Celtics from the NBA In-Season Tournament with a 122-112 quarterfinal victory Monday night.
Haliburton finished with 26 points, 16 in the second half, to go with 13 assists and 10 rebounds. Myles Turner added 17 points and 10 rebounds, and seven Pacers finished in double figures as Indiana remained unbeaten in the tournament after finishing group play with a 4-0 mark.
The Pacers will face Milwaukee or New York in Thursday's semifinals at Las Vegas.
The Celtics were led by Jayson Tatum's 32 points and 12 rebounds, while Jaylen Brown had 30 points and nine rebounds. All-Star Kristaps Porzingis missed his fourth straight game with a strained left calf as Boston's three-game winning streak ended thanks to a late 9-0 run, which began with Haliburton' basket.
Indiana changed the game in the third quarter, charging back from a 56-48 halftime deficit to tie the score at 71 before pulling out to an 85-74 lead.
Boston finally tied the score at 94 on Brown's 3-pointer with 6:07 to go and there were six more ties before Haliburton drew a foul on his 27-foot rainbow jumper.
For the Pacers, this was a new experience. From the towel-waving crowd chanting “De-fense!” to the heavy media presence, single-elimination stakes and festive atmosphere, this was as close to playoff basketball as many of the players on Indiana's young roster had ever experienced. Even Haliburton and 3-point specialist Buddy Hield have not yet played a postseason game.
On the court, it was different, too.
In this season's first matchup on Nov. 1, Boston blew out Indiana 155-104 — the second-most points scored by the Celtics in franchise history.
Celtics: Host the loser of the New York-Milwaukee quarterfinal Friday.
Pacers: Play in Thursday's tournament semifinal at Las Vegas against the New York-Milwaukee winner Tuesday.
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Michael Marot, The Associated Press