Wednesday, Jan. 4 at 7:00 PM ET at Wells Fargo Center
Game Recap: 76ers 129, Pacers 126
Two of the hottest teams in the Eastern Conference entered Wells Fargo Center, but only one could continue streaking – and it took all 48 minutes and more to determine which one.
Unfortunately for the Indiana Pacers, it was their four-game winning stretch that came to an end, as they fell to the Philadelphia 76ers -- winners of 11 straight home games -- 129-126 in overtime on Wednesday.
The Pacers (21-18) overcame a double-digit deficit in the fourth quarter, and led 120-116 with 57 seconds left, but two baskets by the 76ers (22-15) in the final 37 seconds tied the game at 120 to force overtime.
Indiana had a chance to take the lead in overtime, down 127-126 with 10 seconds left, but former NBA MVP James Harden came up with a key block before Tobias Harris hit a pair of free throws with four seconds left to put Philadelphia up by three. At the buzzer, a game-tying heave by Buddy Hield missed.
The win was the third straight for the 76ers and their 11th overall in their last 13 games. Despite the loss, the Pacers have won six of their last eight games.
"We never should've been in overtime, we know that," Pacers coach Rick Carlisle said. "There were a couple of errors that we made that we will learn from. It's a tough loss, but I'm really proud of the effort and the way guys hung in because it was not going particularly well, particularly defensively. Everyone just kept playing, giving ourselves a chance."
Fourteen players – seven on each team – scored in double figures.
Harden led all scorers with 26 points to go along with eight assists and six rebounds while Tobias Harris, Montrezl Harrell and De’Anthony Melton each finished with 19 points.
Hield topped the Pacers with 24 points – on six made 3-pointers – followed by rookie Bennedict Mathurin (19) and Jalen Smith (17). Point guard Tyrese Haliburton achieved a double-double with 16 points and 12 assists for the Blue & Gold.
The 76ers achieved the victory despite missing one of the best players in the league.
76ers center Joel Embiid – who ranks second in the NBA in scoring by averaging 33.5 points per game – was a late scratch against the Pacers due to left foot soreness. Embiid scored 42 points in 36 minutes against the New Orleans Pelicans on Monday.
The lead changed just once in the opening quarter, with the visitors maintaining the edge.
In the first quarter, rookie Andrew Nembhard and Smith each scored seven points as the Pacers took an early 28-27 lead. The teams were tied at 21 before Smith scored the final seven points for the Blue & Gold.
A 7-1 scoring streak by the 76ers, on a 3-pointer by Georges Niang and and-one from Harden, put the 76ers up 39-33 with 8:48 left in the first half.
The Pacers used a 10-2 run, behind a 3-pointer by Aaron Nesmith, two buckets by Myles Turner and an and-one from Nembhard, to tie the game at 56 with 2:06 before Harden was fouled from beyond the arc and made three all attempts with 26 seconds left.
With three seconds remaining, a Tobias Harris dunk put the 76ers back up by five points going into halftime.
In the third quarter, the 76ers shot the ball well making 12 of 21 attempts, including 5 of 7 from 3-point range.
A 10-5 run then extended the 76ers lead to double digits, at 76-66, with 8:44 left in the third quarter.
Despite a nine-point quarter by Hield, the Pacers weren’t able to get closer than six points before the start of the fourth quarter. In the final 90 seconds of the third quarter, the 76ers scored three unanswered buckets to go up 97-84.
Late in the fourth quarter, the Pacers used a 17-6 run to take the lead at 120-116 with 57.7 seconds left.
The Pacers were able chip away at the deficit at the free throw line, with Mathurin making four straight, before a basket by Nembhard and a 3-pointer from Hield cut it to 112-108 with 4:40 left in the game.
After the Pacers went up four, a dunk by Tyrese Maxey and a putback basket by Harris with 6.7 seconds left tied the game to force the extra minutes.
In the extra period, the 76ers used a 3-pointer by Melton and bucket by Harrell to go up 127-124 with 1:34 on the clock. The 76ers then got a key stop and sank two free throws to hold on for the win.
The Pacers were 2 of 7 shooting while the 76ers made 3 of 11 shots in extra minutes.
Overall, the Pacers made 45 of 95 field goal attempts, including 13-for-36 from 3-point range, while making 23 of 26 free throws. The 76ers shot 48-for-98 in the game and 13-for-36 from three and made 19 of 22 from the charity stripe.
Both teams scored 62 points in the paint and the 76ers won the rebounding margin 46-45. The Pacers outscored the 76ers 32-18 in fast break points.
The Pacers return home Friday to take on Damian Lillard and the Portland Trail Blazers before hosting the Charlotte Hornets on Sunday. Indiana will host Philadelphia twice in March to conclude the season series.
“We’ve been good in clutch games as of late. We weren’t able to pull this one out (and) it’s frustrating because you feel like you leave this one on the table,” Haliburton said. ”But we play again in a couple days against Portland. (We) just need to be ready.”
Inside the Numbers
The Pacers set a single-game season high in fast break points with 32. The previous high was 29 versus Atlanta on Dec. 27.
Indiana’s bench outscored Philadelphia’s reserves 49-48.
Haliburton has 20 double-doubles this season and continues to lead the league in assists, averaging 10.2 per game.
Hield has made five or more 3-pointers 15 times this season. He leads the NBA with 152 3-pointers made.
Hield has led the team in scoring 10 times this season.
Mathurin has attempted at least 10 free throws in three straight games, and nine times overall this season.
The Pacers are now 9-2 when leading after the first quarter.
Indiana is 1-3 when seven or more players score in double figures.
The Pacers held Harden to 10 points in the second half and overtime after he scored 16 in the first half.
Postgame Media Availability: Jan. 4, 2023
You Can Quote Me On That
“We got enough stops and Benn got going for us in the fourth. We got stops and played in transition and that got us back in the game.” – Haliburton on the late comeback
“We just need to get stronger from this. Growth in life and in the NBA seldom happens without some real adversity, and some real trauma, and so we’ve got to learn from some of the things that happened and build on some of the good things we did, especially down the stretch.” – Carlisle on the loss
“I thought Myles played a great game. He doesn’t have super gaudy numbers, but his defense, his blocked shots, his presence at the rim, his rolls all night created problems. He was terrific.” – Carlisle on Turner’s performance against the 76ers
“We need to do a better job of closing. It’s on us – everybody. It's not Ty, Drew or Benn, it’s on everybody.” – Hield on not closing out the game in the fourth quarter
Stat of the Night
Hield now has seven straight games with four or more 3-pointers made. That matches the longest streak of his career, and only four players have ever had a streak longer than seven games. The longest streak is 13, which is held by Stephen Curry and Harden.
- Philadelphia has won four straight against Indiana.
- Indiana is now 0-1 in overtime games this season.
The Pacers return to Gainbridge Fieldhouse to host Damian Lillard and the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday, Jan. 6 at 7:00 PM ET. Find Tickets >>