Haliburton Makes History With 23 Assists, Pacers Dominate Knicks

Tyrese Haliburton, Indiana Pacers, NBA News
NBA Analysis Network

Tyrese Haliburton delivered an outstanding performance for the Indiana Pacers, scoring 22 points and matching a franchise record with 23 assists in a 140-126 victory over the New York Knicks during Saturday’s NBA action.

With this achievement, Haliburton became only the third player in NBA history to have back-to-back games with at least 20 points and 20 assists, joining the ranks of legends Magic Johnson and John Stockton.

“Assists don’t happen without guys making shots,” Haliburton said. “We’re doing that at a high clip right now.”

Haliburton’s 23rd assist came in the game’s closing moments, tying a record previously set by Jamaal Tinsley in 2001. Reflecting on his accomplishment, Haliburton humorously remarked that he would have aimed for 24 assists had he known about the record. His performance in the last two games has been remarkable, accumulating 43 assists with only two turnovers, solidifying his position as the NBA’s assist leader.

“I didn’t know 23 was the franchise record or otherwise I would have hunted to get 24,” Haliburton said with a laugh. “Any time your name is brought up with legends of the game, it’s awesome.”

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Tyrese Haliburton, Indiana Pacers, New York Knicks Updates

The Pacers’ win, their third consecutive, brought their record to 17-14. The team’s shooting was exceptionally efficient, hitting 60% from the field and tying their record for three-pointers made in a game. Myles Turner contributed 28 points and eight rebounds, while Aaron Nesmith added 25 points.

“His offensive level is beyond elite,” Pacers coach Rick Carlisle said. “He’s put a lot of work in the last two summers on reads, on being able to create rim pressure and to increase his range, and so teams are in a real bind.”

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Tyrese Haliburton, Indiana Pacers, New York Knicks Updates

The Knicks faced challenges, coming off a recent trade that saw RJ Barrett and Immanuel Quickley move to Toronto in exchange for OG Anunoby, Precious Achiuwa, and Malachi Flynn. The trade left the Knicks with a limited rotation, as they also dealt with the absence of starting center Mitchell Robinson due to injury.

“(Anunoby) can really defend,” Randle said. “He can shoot. Big, long. He’ll be really good for us. RJ, he’s like a little brother to me. We’ve been through ups and downs year after year together. It’s tough. Quick is like a little brother, too. I think they’re going to be great for a long time, and I’ll always be a fan from a distance.”

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Tyrese Haliburton, Indiana Pacers, New York Knicks Updates

Donte DiVincenzo stepped up for the Knicks, scoring a career-high 38 points, with Jalen Brunson and Julius Randle each adding 28 points. Despite their efforts, the Knicks’ defense couldn’t contain the Pacers, particularly in the third quarter, where Indiana built a significant lead.

“First half we hung in there pretty good,” Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau said. “We scored plenty, but we got to play defense. The third quarter they got the cushion on us. They’re a heck of an offensive team. (Haliburton) is very unselfish.”

Looking forward, the Knicks will host the Minnesota Timberwolves, while the Pacers are set to visit the Milwaukee Bucks in their upcoming games.

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