Tyrese Haliburton
(Matt Kryger)

Game Rewind: Pacers 143, 76ers 147

Monday, March 6 at 7:00 PM ET at Gainbridge Fieldhouse

Game Recap: 76ers 147, Pacers 143

Game Recap

Fans in attendance on Monday night at Gainbridge Fieldhouse were treated to a good old-fashioned shootout.

For most of the night, it felt like the scoreboard operator could barely keep up as the Pacers and 76ers -- led by their respective All-Stars -- traded basket after basket. The two teams combined for 157 points in the first half alone and continued to shoot the lights out into the fourth quarter.

But Philadelphia (42-22) ultimately prevailed, using a 10-0 run in the fourth quarter to build a lead they would not relinquish in a 147-143 win over Indiana (29-37).

Seven Pacers scored in double figures on the night, led by Tyrese Haliburton with 40 points and a season-high 16 assists. The All-Star guard scored Indiana's final 14 points and finished the night 12-for-19 from the field, 5-for-10 from 3-point range, and 11-for-12 from the free throw line.

But Joel Embiid tallied a game-high 42 points, going 11-for-16 from the field and a perfect 19-for-19 from the free throw line, and James Harden added 14 points and 20 assists to lead Philadelphia to victory.

Philadelphia shot 58.5 percent from the field and went 35-for-38 from the free throw line in the win, offsetting an equally spectacular offensive performance by the Blue & Gold, who shot 58.9 percent on the night.

"As entertaining games in the NBA go, I don't know how you get much better than this one," Pacers head coach Rick Carlisle said.

Making his second start as a Pacer, Jordan Nwora ignited Indiana's offense early. The 24-year-old forward scored 10 points in his first eight minutes -- including a pair of 3-pointers.

The Sixers had their own hot hand in guard Tyrese Maxey, who went 4-for-5 from beyond the arc and scored 14 points in the opening frame.

But the Pacers matched Philadelphia shot for shot in a high-scoring first quarter. Haliburton tallied eight points and seven assists in the frame. His three with 1:14 left in the quarter gave the hosts a lead they would maintain for the remainder of the frame, as Indiana took a 39-38 lead into the second.

The first quarter featured 11 lead changes and five ties and the ensuing frame was no different. The teams traded the lead 14 times and were tied on 11 occasions over the course of the second quarter.

Two Jalen McDaniels free throws with 46.1 seconds remaining in the half gave the Sixers a 76-74 lead. Nwora tied the game with baseline floater on the other end, but Embiid drew a foul with 7.7 seconds left, then knocked down his 10th and 11th free throws of the first half.

Haliburton got the last laugh of the half, however. The star guard nearly lost the ball, but recovered and swished a three at the buzzer to give Indiana a 79-78 lead at the break.

The Pacers set a new season high for points in the first half, shooting 61.1 percent from the field. The Sixers were just as hot, converting 62.5 percent of their attempts overall and going 10-for-15 from 3-point range. Neither team led by more than five points in the entire first 24 minutes.

"It's fun," Haliburton said. "How can you not love that style of basketball? I think it was just a lot of elite basketball players on the floor, making big-time plays, making shots. The game just came down to who would get enough stops in a row.

"Usually people say the first one to get three stops in a row -- that game (it was) the first one to get two stops in a row."

The Sixers surged ahead minutes into the third quarter thanks to a 9-2 spurt. Indiana answered with another 9-2 run of its own later in the frame to move back in front, and once again the teams traded the lead several times over the closing minutes of the quarter.

Embiid scored 14 points in the third, including a bucket in the post that put Philadelphia up 114-113 with 34.4 seconds remaining in the quarter. Bennedict Mathurin drew a foul on the other end and hit one of two free throws to tie the game for the 22nd time on the night as the action shifted to the fourth quarter.

Neither team led by more than six until the Sixers reeled off 10 unanswered points against Indiana's second unit to take a 128-118 lead with under eight minutes remaining.

Carlisle subbed Haliburton and starting center Myles Turner back in at that point.

Indiana eventually trimmed the deficit to 134-129 following T.J. McConnell's layup with 3:02 to play. Indiana appeared to get a stop on the other end when Harden missed a three and Turner corralled the rebound, but Haliburton was whistled for a push in the back, giving Philadelphia a second chance.

The visitors capitalized, as De'Anthony Melton buried a three from in front of Indiana's bench. The Pacers committed a backcourt violation on the other end and then Embiid drew a foul on Haliburton and knocked down his 16th and 17th foul shots of the night to push the Sixers' lead back to 10 with 1:53 remaining.

The Pacers didn't quit, however. Haliburton drew a foul on a three and then hit another 3-pointer to cut the deficit to four with 52.8 seconds remaining. Philadelphia advanced the ball up to Embiid in front of the scorer's table. The All-Star center fell out of bounds, but Turner was whistled for a shove -- his sixth foul of the night.

Embiid once again made both foul shots and the Sixers held on for the victory.

"He's a monster," Haliburton said of Embiid. "He's tough to guard. He gets to the free throw line at will. He didn't miss a free throw. And he's so skilled that he can score at every level."

Nwora finished with 16 points for Indiana, while Buddy Hield added 15 on 4-of-7 3-point shooting and eight rebounds. Jalen Smith scored 14 off the bench, Mathurin added 13, and McConnell tallied 12.

Turner played just 17 minutes due to foul trouble, but still managed 10 points.

Maxey had 24 points for Philadelphia and went 6-for-9 from 3-point range McDaniels added 20 points and eight rebounds for the visitors.

The Pacers will close out a two-game homestand on Thursday against Houston before embarking on a three-game road trip.

Inside the Numbers

The Pacers scored a season-high 143 points, but Philadelphia's 147 were also the most by a Pacers opponent this season.

Indiana's .589 field goal percentage was the Pacers' highest this season and the team's best shooting night since they converted 62.1 percent of their attempts in a win over Atlanta on May 6, 2021.

Haliburton reached 40 points for the second time this season and set a new season high with 16 assists. He has scored at least 29 points in three straight games, averaging 33.7 points over that span.

Embiid, who entered the night second in the NBA in scoring average at 33 points per game, topped 40 points for the 11th time this season.

Harden, who entered Monday leading the league in assists at 10.6 per game, came up one assist shy of his season high and became the seventh player ever to have 20 assists against Indiana, joining Russell Westbrook (two times), Magic Johnson, Geoff Huston, John Lucas, Stephon Marbury, and Kevin Porter.

Nwora has reached double figures in five straight games after tallying just 13 points over his first three games after being traded to Indiana.

Indiana matched its season high with 70 points in the paint, outscoring the Sixers by 16 on the interior.

Philadelphia had a distinct advantage at the free throw line, where they outscored the Pacers by 13. The Sixers are the best free throw shooting team in the NBA and backed it up by converting 92.1 percent of their attempts on Monday, while the Pacers went 22-for-31 (71 percent).

Postgame Media Availability: March 6, 2023

You Can Quote Me On That

"This was some game. Considering that we're on the second night of a back-to-back, going toe-to-toe with these guys for 48 minutes...I'm really proud of our guys. The beginning of the fourth quarter got us a little bit and it made it tougher. But proud of this group. Our guys are learning, growing and tonight they went head up against a legitimate championship contending team and that's meaningful." -Carlisle on Monday's shootout

"Just getting up and down. Our pace was really good. First unit, we set the tone and I think that T.J. and the second unit kept it going. Like we've talked about all year, we're going to score. It just ultimately comes down to getting stops, and nobody got stops tonight." -Haliburton on why Indiana's offense was clicking

"I feel like we're just playing the right way. Making the extra pass, getting downhill, getting in the paint, creating a problem, and finding the open guy...The last two games, we've really moved the ball well." -McConnell on the second unit finding a groove

"He's changed everything with this organization. He's changed the entire vibe of it. He's changed the atmosphere day-to-day in the locker room and the way that people view Indiana Pacers basketball. And he loves the challenge, he loves the responsibility and the challenge of being the leader on the court. Nothing but props to him." -Carlisle on Haliburton's impact

"He loves those moments. He worked exceptionally hard this past summer on those types of situations...There's some guys at his age that really have a sense of the moment -- the moment in their career where this is their moment, this is their opportunity. In those cases, the ones that recognize it and invest further in themselves and work even harder are the ones that come out on the other side as guys that can be some of the very best to ever play for their franchise. He's in the process of doing it. What is there not to love about this guy?" -Carlisle on Haliburton rising to the moment

Stat of the Night

Haliburton is the first player in franchise history to have 30 points and 15 assists in a single game. He joins Nikola Jokic as just the second player to have 40 points and 15 assists in a game this season.

  • Indiana has lost five straight games against Philadelphia.
  • Aaron Nesmith missed his second straight game for Indiana with a sore left hip.
  • Sixers forward Tobias Harris did not play on Monday due to a sore left calf.
  • The Pacers are 7-6 on the season when playing on the second night of a back-to-back.
  • Actor and comedian Will Ferrell attended Monday's game and revved up the crowd before the opening tip. Rapper 50 Cent was also on hand on behalf of his company Sire Spirits. Other celebrities in attendance included Colts wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. and Colts legend Reggie Wayne.
Up Next

The Pacers welcome Jalen Green and the Houston Rockets to Gainbridge Fieldhouse on Thursday, March 9 at 7:00 PM ET. Find Tickets >>