The Pacers achieved a historic milestone by dishing out a franchise-record 50 assists in their sixth consecutive victory. Tyrese Haliburton played a pivotal role with 18 assists in just over 25 minutes, contributing to Indiana’s impressive 64% shooting from the field and a commanding 150-116 win over the Atlanta Hawks on Friday night.
Haliburton, leading the NBA in assists with an average of 12.8 per game, also added 10 points and eight rebounds to his impressive performance. Myles Turner led the scoring for Indiana with 27 points, accompanied by strong contributions from Bennedict Mathurin (18 points), Bruce Brown (17 points), and Aaron Nesmith (15 points).
Pacers coach Rick Carlisle commended the team’s unselfishness, highlighting the significance of the NBA and ABA franchise record of 50 assists. Despite the celebration, Carlisle emphasized the need for a quick turnaround as the team faces the Boston Celtics on Saturday.
Indiana, the NBA’s highest-scoring team, reached the 150-point mark against the Hawks for the second time this season, replicating their earlier success in a 157-152 victory in Atlanta on November 21. Carlisle praised the team’s physicality and defensive efforts, noting their ability to avoid fouls.
Dejounte Murray led the Hawks with 30 points, while Trae Young struggled, missing his first seven shots and finishing with 13 points on 4-of-18 shooting, including a 1-of-11 performance from beyond the arc.
The Pacers dominated the first half, shooting an impressive 71% and securing a comfortable 78-54 lead at halftime. Overall, Indiana shot 64%, while Atlanta lagged behind at 43%. The Pacers’ prowess from long range was evident as they made 19 of 39 attempts from 3-point range.
Haliburton expressed his strong partnership with Turner, citing their effective pick-and-roll plays. Turner acknowledged the positive energy within the team, creating an environment conducive to such outstanding performances.
Hawks coach Quin Snyder admitted his team’s struggles, acknowledging the Pacers’ formidable play and emphasizing the need for urgency in defensive transition. The Pacers played without Andrew Nembhard for the second consecutive game due to back soreness.