Myles Turner scores 31, Pacers avoid play-in tournament with 157-115 rout of Hawks

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Myles Turner had 31 points and Pascal Siakam scored 28 as the Indiana Pacers beat the Atlanta Hawks 157-115 on Sunday and avoided falling into the play-in tournament.

Indiana secured at least the No. 6 seed in the Eastern Conference with a dominant regular-season finale. The Pacers shot 65% and made 19 of 36 3-pointers.

The 157 points matched the Pacers’ highest-scoring game since they joined the NBA in 1976. The record was set earlier this season in their 157-152 win in the In-Season Tournament on Nov. 21.

Dejounte Murray scored 32 points for the Hawks, who finished the regular season 10th in the East at 36-46 and visit the ninth-placed Chicago Bulls on Wednesday to open the play-in tournament.

Mouhamed Gueye added 19 points and Bogdan Bogdanovic 18 for the Hawks, who trailed 125-93 at the end of the third quarter and never threatened in the fourth.

All-Star Tyrese Haliburton, in the playoffs for the first time in his career, finished with 12 points and 13 assists.

The Pacers last advanced into the playoffs in 2020. They finished 11th in the East a year ago, five games out of the final play-in spot. They missed the 2022 playoffs and lost to Washington in the 2021 play-in tournament.

Indiana went into intermission leading 86-72. That tied the Pacers’ highest-scoring half. They also scored 86 points in a first half on Nov. 6 against San Antonio and on Jan. 15, 1990, against Golden State.

Turner, who added 12 rebounds and four blocked shots, helped the Pacers set the tone from the start. They raced out to an 8-0 lead, with six points from Turner, and held the Hawks scoreless on their first five possessions.

Atlanta held out starting center Clint Capela for rest. Three other rotation players who average a combined 39.9 points, Jalen Johnson (sprained ankle), Saddiq Bey (torn knee ligament) and Onyeka Okongwu (sprained toe), sat out due to injury.


Hawks: Visit the ninth-placed Chicago Bulls on Wednesday in the play-in tournament.

Pacers: Open the playoffs as either the No. 5 or 6 seed.



Chris Goff, The Associated Press