Andrew Nembhard
(NBAE/Getty Images)

Game Rewind: Pacers 111, Knicks 106 (Game 3)

Friday, May 10 at 7:00 PM ET at Gainbridge Fieldhouse

Game Recap: Pacers 111, Knicks 106

Game Recap

Heroes are made in the playoffs. Pacers fans won't soon forget Andrew Nembhard's name after the second-year guard's heroics in Game 3 against the New York Knicks at Gainbridge Fieldhouse.

With the game tied at 106 and under 40 seconds remaining, Pacers All-Star guard Tyrese Haliburton took a three from right wing. He missed, but Aaron Nesmith was there to corral the rebound. They kicked the ball out to Haliburton who called for an isolation and dribbled down the shot clock.

But the Knicks sent a double-double Haliburton's way as the shot clock wound down, so he kicked to Nembhard on the left wing with just four seconds left on the shot clock.

The second-year guard was well beyond the 3-point line, but knew he had to hoist it quickly. Nembhard, who always carries himself with a calm demeanor, didn't panic.

Instead, he took a couple dribbles and stepped back from Knicks guard Jalen Brunson, hoisting a shot from 31 feet away. It swished through the net as the shot clock buzzer sounded with 16.4 seconds remaining, the decisive blow in a 111-106 Pacers win.

“I heard (Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau) yelling to double," Haliburton said. "I probably held the ball a little too long. I should have been more aggressive to attack the blitz. I put Drew in a kind of a bad situation. He just made an unbelievable shot, big shot. Just really stepped up to the moment when we needed him the most."

"When I got the ball, I didn’t really realize what the time was," Nembhard added. "…I just knew I had to get something off. Tried to create a little space and put it up."

It was a pivotal moment in a pivotal game, as the Pacers defended their home court after dropping the first two games of their best-of-seven Eastern Conference Semifinal series earlier this week at Madison Square Garden. Indiana will try to even the series when it hosts Game 4 on Monday.

The Pacers had led by as many as 12 points in the first half, but trailed by nine early in the fourth quarter before rallying. They rallied to tie the game at 99 by the seven-minute mark and took a one-point lead after Pascal Siakam hit one of two free throws with 5:42 remaining.

That's where the score remained until Brunson hit a step-back jumper over Aaron Nesmith to put the Knicks back in front with 3:53 to play.

On the other end, Siakam drove and drew a foul on Brunson, then hit both free throws to retake the lead. The two teams traded misses on their next two possessions before Josh Hart attacked the basket and drew a foul on Siakam (the fifth for the Pacers forward). Hart hit one of two shots at the foul line to tie the game at 102 with 2:26 left.

On the other end, Pacers guard Tyrese Haliburton got caught in mid-air with no one to pass to and turned the ball over. It looked like Hart was going to score on the other end, but Myles Turner came out of nowhere to block the shot off the backboard. That triggered a fastbreak where Nembhard converted a layup to put Indiana in front.

Haliburton was whistled for a foul on Brunson on the other end, but the Knicks' All-Star guard came up short on his first free throw before hitting the second. Siakam added a layup with 54.1 seconds left to put Indiana up 106-103, but Brunson answered with a three on the other end to tie the game once again with 42.4 seconds remaining.

That set the stage for Nembhard's heroics. After a timeout, Brunson missed a potential game-tying three and Nesmith sealed the win at the free throw line.

Four starters scored in double figures for the Pacers in the victory, with Haliburton leading the way with 35 points on 14-of-26 shooting, (6-of-16 from 3-point range) and seven assists.

Siakam scored 26 points on 9-of-14 shooting, while Turner tallied 21 points, 10 rebounds, and three blocks. Nesmith finished with 10 points and six rebounds.

Nembhard was the only starter to not reach double figures, but hit the biggest shot of the night. He finished with five points (all in the final two minutes), five rebounds, and six assists. He started 0-for-6 from the field, but his last two shots, both of which gave Indiana the lead.

"Basketball’s a game of many mistakes," Nembhard said. "It’s about being neutral, not getting high or low based off good or bad plays. Just trying to move on and understand the next play’s the most important."

The Pacers made a defensive adjustment for start of Game 3, putting the bigger wing Nesmith on Brunson instead of Nembhard.

Though New York scored the first points of the evening on a second-chance three by Hart, Indiana's defense otherwise dominated the opening minutes. The Pacers capitalized, using a three by Nesmith and two from Haliburton to open up a 14-4 lead, limiting the Knicks to just a single point over a nearly four-minute span.

The Blue & Gold led 20-8 before the Knicks put together a 12-4 run to get back within four. But a Siakam layup and another Nesmith three closed the quarter to give Indiana a 29-20.

Indiana limited the Knicks to 7-of-19 shooting (36.8 percent) in the opening frame while also forcing six turnovers. Brunson went 1-for-5 with three turnovers.

The Knicks got their offense going in the ensuing frame, as Donte DiVincenzo scored seven straight points for the visitors during a 13-6 run that pulled New York within two.

That forced a timeout from Pacers head coach Rick Carlisle, but after the stoppage Alec Burks converted a three-point play to briefly put the visitors in front. But Myles Turner answered with a jumper on the other end and then Haliburton knocked down two threes on the next two Pacers possessions to start to rebuild the cushion.

A three from Turner pushed the lead to eight before the Knicks made another charge, this time reeling off 11 unanswered points (six from Brunson and five from Burks). The Pacers answered with a 9-0 spurt of their own, with Haliburton scoring the final seven, capping the sequence with his fifth 3-pointer of the first half.

The hosts remained in front up until halftime, with Siakam scoring Indiana's last six points to make it a 63-58 lead entering the intermission.

The Pacers were able to extend the lead early in the third quarter, using an 8-0 that featured back-to-back threes from Haliburton and Siakam and another Siakam jumper to push the margin to 77-66 with 7:31 remaining in the frame.

But the Knicks dominated the rest of the frame, outscoring Indiana 24-8 over the remainder of the quarter. DiVincenzo scored nine points during that run and 17 overall in the quarter as New York took a 90-85 lead into the fourth.

The Knicks had pushed their lead to 98-89 with under 10 minutes to play, when Haliburton drove and converted a floater while being knocked to the floor by New York guard Miles McBride. He made the free throw to complete a three-point play, then added another layup at 8:10 to draw Indiana within four.

On the other end, Haliburton darted in front of a Brunson pass and streaked down the floor for two more points.

After Brunson hit one of two free throws, Siakam spun around Hart and banked in a jumper through contact. The ensuing free throw tied the game at 99 with 6:58 to play.

It wasn't all pretty down the stretch, but the Pacers made enough key plays when it mattered to come away with the win.

"Just really proud of our guys," Carlisle said. "They’re going against a highly experienced, very tough-minded team that is very motivated. They put us in a big bind in the second half. Was really proud of the way our guys hung in, kept fighting, stayed the course, kept their emotions in check."

DiVincenzo led the Knicks with 35 points, going 12-for-26 from the field and 7-for-11 from beyond the arc. Brunson, who was listed as questionable after hurting his right foot in Game 2, had 26 points and six assists for New York in 38 minutes.

Burks scored 14 points off the bench, while Hart had a double-double with 10 points and 18 rebounds.

The two teams won't have long to rest ahead of Game 4, which is a mid-afternoon tip at 3:30 PM on Sunday.

"Whatever happens, you’ve got to wipe it clean," Carlisle said. "The next game is a completely new palate. You’ve just got to get ready to compete when that time comes."

Inside the Numbers

Haliburton's 35 points one-upped his 34 points in Game 2 to become his new playoff career high. His 26 field goal attempts were the second most he's taken in any game in his career (he shot 28 times at Miami on Nov. 30). On Friday, he became just the fifth player in NBA history to score 30 or more points and make six or more threes in consecutive playoff games, joining a list that includes Stephen Curry (seven times), Donovan Mitchell (twice), James Harden, and Damian Lillard.

Siakam had his first 20-point game since scoring 36 and 37 points in the first two games of Indiana's first-round series against Milwaukee.

Turner surpassed 20 points for the fifth time this postseason while also recording his first double-double of the playoffs.

The Pacers outscored the Knicks 56-40 in the paint on Friday.

DiVincenzo's seven 3-pointers tied the Knicks franchise record for threes in a playoff game, tying a mark originally set by Derek Harper May 4, 1995 against Cleveland and matched by John Starks a week later in Indiana that same postseason.

Burks had played just one minute all posteason (in Game 2), but was forced into action on Friday after the Knicks lost starting forward OG Anunoby to a hamstring strain. The 13-year veteran rose to the occasion with 14 points and four rebounds in 21 minutes off the bench, going 4-for-6 from the field, 2-for-4 from 3-point range, and 4-for-5 from the free throw line.

After playing all 48 minutes in both Game 1 and Game 2, Hart came out for the first time all series on Friday due to foul trouble. He still played 43:05 and pulled down 18 rebounds, all of them on the defensive end.

The Pacers had outscored the Knicks 92-15 in bench points over the first two games of the series, but New York's reserves actually outscored Indiana 24-14 on Friday, thanks to 14 points from Burks and 10 from McBride.

The Knicks led the NBA in offensive rebounding this season, but Indiana had 13 offensive boards to New York's 10 in Game 3 and outscored the Knicks 16-8 in second-chance points.

Indiana Pacers Postgame Media Availability vs. New York Knicks (Game 3) | May 10, 2024

You Can Quote Me On That

"Just digging in. Understanding our backs are against the wall. We’re here at home. Obviously they handled business getting both at home and everybody knows what it looks like when you go down 3-0. We had to come out and play desperate, play hard. The third quarter got us again. We've really been poor in these third quarters all series. We just didn’t let that deter us, and responded the right way in the fourth.” -Haliburton on the final stretch of the game

“They made a run. We just tried to communicate to the guys to just keep the focus. I thought there was a lot of big plays that the guys made. Just fighting, man, being resilient. We understand how hard these games are and how tough that team is. It’s going to take a lot. I thought that we dug deep and just kept fighting.” -Siakam on the Pacers’ comeback in the fourth quarter

“We made some good stops, had good rotations, we rebounded the ball going down the stretch. Tyrese was making plays, opening it up for a lot of guys. The middle screen with him and Pascal was really working.” -Nembhard on the Pacers’ comeback in the fourth quarter to erase a nine-point deficit

“He’s one of our toughest guys, mentally and physically. He’s really gained a love for these types of moments and playing in this kind of stage, this kind of level of competition…The clock was down. Sometimes in those situations, it frees you up even more. He just laced it.” -Carlisle on Nembhard’s big shot

"Andrew does so many things for us as a team, just fights every possession, picking up full court. He’s so valuable for us. Obviously, he wasn’t making shots or anything like that. But we have full trust in him, the work that he puts in. He’s a confident kid…Obviously it’s a tough shot, but if somebody’s going to make that, it’s going to be him. I just love everything about him and his focus." -Siakam on Nembhard’s shot

“You can’t give New York a recipe of the same thing over and over again. They’re going too adjust — Brunson’s too great a player. The idea was just change the matchup, give him a little more size. Aaron did as good a job I think as you can possibly do. Brunson’s so good. He’s the best scorer in the playoffs I believe. We had good timely help tonight, too.” -Carlisle on switching Nesmith onto Brunson for Game 3

“He adapts quickly. For a first-timer in the playoffs, he’s had to do some pretty significant adjusting in both series. Sometimes it’s you know you can score, but there’s a need to get other guys involved. Sometimes it’s the other way around, he knows we need his scoring…His aggression was very important in this game. Whether he’s scoring a lot of points or not, his aggression is going to be important in every game of this series.” -Carlisle on Haliburton’s big night

“It’s been awesome…The way he affects the game for us, it’s more than scoring. Obviously when you look at the scoreboard, he made a lot of threes and he scored a lot. But he’s an engine for us and he gets us going. His pace, the way he sees the game, how smart he is as a player…everything else he does for us as a team, that’s what makes us great.” -Siakam on Haliburton

“It’s been unbelievable in here. It’s been unbelievable , the energy. I think that our fans have just been itching for playoff basketball again, just like us. I think that’s the excitement in our city and that’s why everyone is so excited. Obviously just a lot of energy around basketball in Indiana right now, especially with the Fever and us. It’s really cool to see that energy in the building every game. They really willed us to a win tonight, to be honest. We’re just going to keep riding that train and hopefully they keep coming supporting us and we just keep performing the way we’re able to.”  – Haliburton on the home crowd

“Just taking what’s there. I know it feels like we’ve been together for a while, but I think the guys are still learning about me…For me, the type of player that I am, it’s just continue to find my way in the flow of the game, understand that things are going to come. And knowing that it’s not just about scoring. I can make plays, just my energy, trying to find different ways (like) rebounding and staying active out there, that overall activity is probably going to help me a little bit more.” -Siakam on picking up his scoring in Game 3

"I think there are certain plays that happen over the course of a series, and the course of a game, that can really change things...I think we’re going to remember that play, because I feel like that changed the game. It was a game-changing moment. I think it just speaks to how hard he played and the tone he set today." -Haliburton on Turner's block in the final minutes

Stat of the Night

Andrew Nembhard had zero points with under two minutes remaining in Game 3, but scored two massive baskets to lift the Pacers to victory.


  • The Pacers have won the first four playoff games at Gainbridge Fieldhouse and nine straight at home dating back to the regular season. They have not lost at home since March 18.
  • Several former Pacers stars were in attendance on Friday. Two-time All-Star center Roy Hibbert "revved up" the crowd before the game, former All-Star Dale Davis was seated courtside, and fan favorite Lance Stephenson was also in attendance.
  • Others in attendance included Hall of Fame running back Edgerrin James and current Colts lineback Zaire Franklin.

Up Next

The Pacers and Knicks will meet again in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals at Gainbridge Fieldhouse on Sunday, May 12 at 3:30 PM ET. Find Tickets >>