Tyrese Haliburton
(Matt Kryger)

Game Rewind: Pacers 111, Lakers 112

Thursday, Feb. 2 at 7:00 PM ET at Gainbridge Fieldhouse

Game Recap: Lakers 112, Pacers 111

Game Recap

For much of Thursday night, it felt like a celebration at Gainbridge Fieldhouse. Star point guard Tyrese Haliburton was back on the court for the first time in three weeks, a newly minted All-Star, and seemingly leading Indiana to a comfortable win over the Lakers.

But LeBron James and Anthony Davis spoiled the party, as Los Angeles (25-28) rallied from a 14-point fourth quarter deficit to come away with a 112-111 win over Indiana (24-29).

The Pacers were in control for most of the night and led 98-84 early in the fourth quarter. But Indiana went cold in the final frame, allowing the Lakers to climb back into the game.

The visitors used a 12-3 run over the next five minutes of action, trimming the Pacers' lead to 101-96 as the game hit the seven-minute mark.

Haliburton rattled in a three with 6:31 remaining to stop the bleeding, but the Lakers kept coming. Patrick Beverley's 3-pointer with 3:23 to play pulled the visitors within one at 106-105.

After Aaron Nesmith missed a three from the corner, Russell Westbrook corralled the rebound and hoisted it down the floor to James, who swished a three from the left wing to give the Lakers their first lead of the night with 2:35 to play.

The Pacers responded, as Buddy Hield knocked in a three while falling down to put Indiana back in front with 2:08 remaining. After the two teams traded turnovers, Hield was whistled for a foul on an entry pass to James in the post with 1:09 to play. The Lakers were already in the bonus, so the four-time MVP headed to the line, where he knocked down both free throws to give the visitors a one-point lead.

Rookie guard Andrew Nembhard put the Pacers back in front with a jumper from the left elbow with 48.9 seconds remaining, but Davis answered with a fall-away shot from the right block with 34.3 seconds to play.

Haliburton then took it upon himself to put Indiana back in front. He attacked the basket and tried to get off a reverse layup, but Davis was there to meet him at the rim. The Lakers recovered the rebound and Indiana was forced to foul Beverley with 10.2 seconds left.

Beverley left the door open for the Blue & Gold, missing both free throws, the third time a Laker missed both foul shots in the final frame.

Pacers head coach Rick Carlisle called a timeout to draw up the final play. Nembhard inbounded to Haliburton, who was fouled by Beverley with 6.1 seconds left with Indiana not yet in the bonus. Beverley knocked the ball out of bounds on the next inbound attempt, forcing Nembhard to throw in from the corner by the Pacers bench. He wound up essentially handing the ball to Hield, who hoisted a turnaround jumper that bounced off the rim and into Davis' arms as the buzzer sounded.

The loss spoiled a stellar return for Haliburton, who was back in the lineup after missing 10 games with left knee and elbow injuries. He found out just before Thursday's game tipped that he had been named an All-Star for the first time, then he took the floor and quickly showed why he was deserving of that honor.

Indiana's 22-year-old guard scored a team-high 26 points and dished out 12 assists in 36 minutes in his return.

"It's good to be back out there," Haliburton said. "I love playing basketball, so it's good to be on the floor again."

Aaron Nesmith added a career-high 24 points while going 9-for-12 from the field and 5-for-8 from 3-point range, but James and Davis spoiled the Pacers' efforts late.

Davis had a game-high 31 points, 14 rebounds, and two blocks in the victory. James added 26 points on 11-of-19 shooting, seven rebounds, and seven assists. He is now just 63 points away from surpassing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to become the NBA's all-time leading scorer.

The Pacers, meanwhile, have dropped 11 of their last 12 games dating back to the Jan. 11 game in which Haliburton was originally injured.

It ended on a sour note, but the night started so promising for Indiana.

Haliburton missed his first shot on Thursday, but scored on a layup just over three minutes into the contest. He drained a three at the 7:25 mark, another layup at 5:27, a jumper at 4:32, and another jumper at 3:55.

That added up to 11 points and two assists over his first eight-minute shift, with his final shot pushing the Pacers' lead to 27-16 and forcing a Lakers timeout.

As a team, Indiana went 7-for-14 from 3-point range in the opening quarter and led by as many as 12. The Lakers closed the frame with a 10-3 run, but Indiana still led 35-30 after one.

The Lakers continued their charge at the start of the second quarter, drawing within two on James' jumper with 9:47 remaining in the period.

But the Pacers quickly built their lead back to double digits. Myles Turner reeled off seven straight points, as Haliburton set him up for two straight layups and then he drained a three from the top of the key.

After a Davis layup, rookie guard Bennedict Mathurin converted a jumper, Haliburton threw a behind-the-back dish to Nesmith for a breakaway slam, and then Haliburton drilled a trey from the right corner to cap a 14-2 Indiana run that put the Blue & Gold up 54-40.

"He's a floor-spacer, he's a playmaker, and he makes everybody's job easier," Nesmith said of Haliburton's impact. "You saw that tonight, especially with the way we started. The ball was moving, ball was popping, guys were getting easy shots. It's night and day when we have him out there."

James and Davis helped Los Angeles whittle the Pacers' lead down with eight unanswered points, but the Blue & Gold rebuilt the lead before halftime. A three from Nembhard and a four-point play by Nesmith put Indiana up 67-52 in the final minute before a Dennis Schroder jumper trimmed the lead to 13 entering the intermission.

James had a three assists and a layup as the Lakers opened the second half with a 12-4 spurt to get back within five. But after a timeout by Carlisle, Haliburton and the Pacers got the offense rolling once again.

The newly-minted All-Star showed off his passing chops with another behind-the-back feed to Nesmith and a no-look dish to Turner for a dunk. He then scored seven points in the ensuing minutes to push Indiana's lead back up to 88-74 with 4:31 remaining in the third quarter.

The Blue & Gold led 94-84 as the final seconds ticked away in the frame. Chris Duarte hoisted a shot from the left corner that missed long, but second-year forward Isaiah Jackson flew in, catching the ball the well above the rim and throwing it in with one hand to the amazement of everyone in the building, most notably his own teammates on the Indiana bench.

T.J. McConnell scored on the opening possession of the fourth quarter to pad the hosts' lead. But the next several minutes were all Lakers and the visitors ultimately got the last laugh.

The loss spoiled what otherwise was a celebratory day for Indiana, as Haliburton became the 15th player in franchise history to be named an All-Star and the first since Domantas Sabonis -- who was traded for Haliburton last February -- in 2020-21.

"Tyrese has earned it," Carlisle said. "He's done everything the right way. He was disappointed in the trade initially, but then he saw the opportunity here and embraced it. He's planted his foot in here, he's committed himself to being the on-court leader of this franchise, and he's performed at an amazing level."

Turner finished with 20 points on 8-of-11 shooting to go along with 13 rebounds and two blocks. Hield added 14 points and five rebounds, while McConnell chipped in 11 points and four assists off the bench.

Schroder finished with 12 points, six rebounds, and five assists for the Lakers. Thomas Bryant added 11 points off the bench, while fellow reserve Westbrook went just 2-for-16 from the field but still recorded a double-double with 10 points and 10 assists.

The Pacers will remain at Gainbridge Fieldhouse for a busy weekend. Indiana welcomes Sacramento to the Fieldhouse on Friday night before hosting Cleveland on Sunday.

Inside the Numbers

Haliburton recorded his team-leading 23rd double-double of the season on Thursday, while Turner registered a double-double for the 14th time.

Nesmith set a new career high with 24 points, one more than his previous high mark, which he set on Dec. 18 against New York. His five 3-pointers matched his career high, a feat he originally accomplished in a Nov. 19 win over Orlando.

The Pacers outscored the Lakers by 30 points from beyond the arc on Thursday. Indiana went 16-for-41 (39 percent) from long distance, while Los Angeles was just 6-for-22 (27.3 percent).

The Lakers, meanwhile, had a decisive advantage at the free throw line. Los Angeles went 22-for-31 from the charity stripe, while Indiana attempted a season-low six foul shots, converting five.

The Lakers outrebounded Indiana 51-46 overall and 13-6 on the offensive glass. The visitors had eight offensive rebounds in the fourth quarter alone.

Postgame Media Availability: Feb. 2, 2023

You Can Quote Me On That

"He just lights up our building. Our team plays a different game. I was trying to keep his minutes reasonable, (but) to win the game he needed to go back in there with nine minutes to go." -Carlisle on the boost from Haliburton's return

"I'm just excited that it's official. I worked really hard to get here. Obviously, making it in year three, I never would have expected to accomplish this in three years in the NBA. But I'm really excited. I just thank my teammates, thank my coaching staff and front office for believing in me. You don't do this alone. It takes a village. I'm just really excited to go to Utah and represent the Indiana Pacers." -Haliburton on his first All-Star selection

"A 20-and-10 point guard is gold in this league, particularly one that also has the 'it' factor when it comes to the crowd identifying with him. I see so much of Reggie (Miller) in him, just the way that these guys move on the court, their emotions, what they're about, how they work, all those things." -Carlisle on Haliburton's star qualities

"I thought Aaron Nesmith was terrific. He started out the game hitting shots, running on the break. It's a hard challenge guarding James. He was able to stay reasonably out of foul trouble...Tonight shows why we're excited about him as a player in the future." -Carlisle on Nesmith's two-way impact

"The ball started sticking a little bit. It wasn't moving as much. They started pressing and really denying our point guards so our pace slowed down, our movement slowed down." -Nesmith on Indiana's offensive struggles in the fourth quarter

Stat of the Night

The Pacers scored a season-low 15 points in the fourth quarter on Thursday. Indiana went 6-for-22 from the field, 3-for-11 from the free throw line, and did not attempt a free throw over the final 12 minutes.

  • The Lakers have won three straight games at Gainbridge Fieldhouse. Indiana's last win over the Lakers on its home court came on Dec. 17, 2019.
  • Daniel Theis made his Pacers debut on Thursday after missing the first 52 games of the season due to knee surgery. The 6-8 center, who was acquired from Boston via trade last summer, played 7:14 in the first half.
  • Hield made two 3-pointers on Thursday and now has a league-leading 199 on the season. With his next three, Hield will become the third player in franchise history to make 200 3-pointers in a season, joining Reggie Miller (229 in 1996-97) and Paul George (210 in 2015-16).
  • James now has 38,325 points over his 20-year career as he chases Abdul-Jabbar's record of 38,387 career points. The Lakers next play in New Orleans on Saturday, then will return to host Oklahoma City on Tuesday and Milwaukee next Thursday.
Up Next

The Pacers host Domantas Sabonis and the Sacramento Kings at Gainbridge Fieldhouse on Friday, Feb. 3 at 7:00 PM ET. Find Tickets >>