Pacers trying to regroup after star Tyrese Haliburton leaves Game 2 with hamstring, chest injuries


BOSTON — The Pacers left the opener of their Eastern Conference finals matchup with the Celtics lamenting a rash of late turnovers that spoiled one of their best performances this postseason.

Indiana walked off the court following a 126-110 Game 2 loss Thursday night with its top star banged up, and the Pacers looking back on a six-minute stretch that left with a second straight 2-0 series deficit.

All-Star Tyrese Haliburton scored 10 points and played just eight minutes in the second half before leaving the game because of a sore left hamstring. He sat out the entire fourth quarter.

Haliburton also suffered what Pacers coach Rick Carlisle described as a chest injury that occurred during a first-half collision with Boston’s Jaylen Brown.

“We’ll know more tomorrow and then probably more Saturday,” Carlisle said.

Haliburton didn’t speak with reporters postgame but could be seen limping as he walked out of the arena.

He finished with 10 points in 28 minutes but had just two points after halftime. His status for Game 3 when the series shifts to Indiana on Saturday night is to be determined.

Carlisle said the hamstring injury was the same one Haliburton injured during a Jan. 8 regular-season win over the Celtics. He missed 10 of the next 11 games. Video Thursday showed him wincing in pain after stumbling while defending Jayson Tatum.

“Sore. Aggravated. I don’t have much detail other than it’s sore,” Carlisle said.

Carlisle said the chest injury occurred during a play in the second quarter when he we went up for a rebound and collided by Brown.

“Jaylen Brown looked like he almost went through him to get the ball,” the coach said.

Pacers teammate Pascal Siakam picked up the scoring load as best he could after Haliburton exited, going 13 of 17 from the field and finishing with 28 points before being pulled early in the fourth with Boston in control.

It wasn’t nearly enough to slow down a Celtics team that used two big runs to blow the game open.

Indiana’s other three starters – Aaron Nesmith, Myles Turner and Andrew Nembhard – combined to go 12 of 26 from the field.

“They played a little bit better for more stretches than we did,” Siakam said. “Our energy wasn’t were it was supposed to be. … We have look ourselves in the mirror and move on.”

The Pacers only solace is that they haven’t lost on their Gainbridge Fieldhouse home court since March 18, a run of 11 straight wins, including 6-0 this postseason.

Siakam said they were prepared to respond even if Haliburton is unavailable for Game 3.

“We need Ty, but next man mentality. We’ve got to play together,” he said. “This team got where we’re at by playing together. … It’s on us to continue to play and bring that energy.”

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AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/NBA



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