Hield, Toppin Lead Pacers Victory Over Hawks With Haliburton Out

Buddy Hield, Indiana Pacers, NBA trade rumors
NBA Analysis Network

The Indiana Pacers, led by Buddy Hield and Obi Toppin with 18 points each, secured a convincing 126-108 victory over the Atlanta Hawks during Friday night’s NBA action. This win marks the Pacers’ continued dominance over the Hawks this season, including two previous high-scoring triumphs.

Despite missing their star player Tyrese Haliburton, who leads the NBA in assists but was sidelined due to a strained left hamstring, the Pacers showcased their depth and balanced attack. Coach Rick Carlisle highlighted the significance of winning two games without Haliburton, acknowledging the team’s collective effort.

“Two wins without Tyrese, that’s really important,” Carlisle said.

Indiana, currently fourth in the Eastern Conference, has been on an impressive run, winning nine of their last 10 games. Bennedict Mathurin contributed 15 points, and the team saw eight players scoring in double figures. Their shooting was exceptionally efficient, hitting 67.1% from the field and outrebounding the Hawks 44-28. T.J. McConnell had a standout game with a season-high 14 assists, contributing to the team’s total of 41.

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Buddy Hield, Obi Toppin, Indiana Pacers, Atlanta Hawks Updates

Andrew Nembhard, who scored 10 points and provided seven assists, spoke about the team’s offensive strategy, emphasizing the importance of multiple players contributing to the scoreboard.

“I think that’s our MO, really, on offense to have a lot of guys score some points, we get to be ourselves,” Nembhard said. “One of the things we do is score in the paint.”

The Pacers were particularly effective in scoring in the paint, outscoring the Hawks 76-48 in that area, a strategy Nembhard noted as one of their key offensive tactics.

“I’m not a big stats guy,” Carlisle said. “It’s what you’re feeling from the vibe of the group. Right now we really understand everyone in that room.”

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Buddy Hield, Obi Toppin, Indiana Pacers, Atlanta Hawks Updates

On the other side, Atlanta coach Quin Snyder pointed out the team’s struggles in defending the paint as a major issue in their loss. The Pacers’ shooting efficiency surpassed their previous high against the Hawks set earlier in January.

Dejounte Murray, amidst trade deadline talks, led the Hawks with 29 points. Saddiq Bey and Jalen Johnson added 17 and 16 points, respectively. Trae Young, a prominent figure in the Eastern Conference, had a quieter night with 13 points and six assists, facing intense defensive focus from the Pacers.

“He’s a great player and we’re giving him a lot of attention,” Carlisle said about Young. “He had some looks that he normally makes that didn’t go in. … He’s one of the real surgeons in our game offensively. He can dice you up so many ways.”

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Buddy Hield, Obi Toppin, Indiana Pacers, Atlanta Hawks Updates

An interesting note from the game was Young and Bogdan Bogdanovic, each reaching their 1,000th career 3-pointer, a unique occurrence for teammates in the same game.

After holding a six-point lead at halftime, the Pacers significantly extended their advantage in the third quarter, outscoring the Hawks 31-19, a period Carlisle described as crucial for creating the necessary separation.

“The third quarter was tremendous to create separation that we needed,” Carlisle said.

Looking forward, the Pacers will face the Denver Nuggets on Sunday, while the Hawks are set to host the Washington Wizards on Saturday night.

Golden State Warriors, Kevin Durant Reunion Is ‘Realistic’

The Golden State Warriors, once the behemoths of the NBA, saw their dynasty falter in recent years, culminating in a disappointing absence from the playoffs

Draymond Green Drops Major Prediction On LeBron James’ NBA Future

The Los Angeles Lakers’ 2023-24 NBA journey has concluded, marked by their defeat to the Denver Nuggets in the first round of the playoffs, ending

Former Player Sends Massive Message To Pacers’ Tyrese Haliburton

The Indiana Pacers entered the NBA playoffs following a breakout season, with Tyrese Haliburton emerging as a bona fide star and the team holding promising