Obi Toppin
(NBAE/Getty Images)

Game Rewind: Pacers 152, Spurs 111

Monday, Nov. 6 at 7:00 PM ET at Gainbridge Fieldhouse

Game Recap: Pacers 152, Spurs 111

Game Recap

Pacers fans filled Gainbridge Fieldhouse on Monday night expecting to see history. While many were eager to see 7-foot-4 rookie sensation Victor Wembanyama's first game in Indianapolis, the Pacers made history of their own.

Head coach Rick Carlisle got his 900th win in style, as Indiana (4-3) tied the NBA franchise record for points scored in a game in a 152-111 rout of Wembanyana and the San Antonio Spurs (3-4). Carlisle is just the 14th coach in NBA history to reach the milestone and the second active coach behind his counterpart on Monday, San Antonio's Gregg Popovich.

The Blue & Gold dropped 44 points in the opening frame, then followed that up by going 9-for-12 from 3-point range in a 42-point second quarter, tying the franchise record for points in a half. The lead only grew after halftime, as Carlisle rested all of his starters and emptied his bench in the fourth quarter.

Six Pacers scored in double figures on the night, with Tyrese Haliburton leading the way with 23 points and eight assists in 27 minutes.

Buddy Hield added 19 off the bench, going 7-for-8 from the field and 5-for-6 from 3-point range. Obi Toppin scored 19, while Myles Turner recorded a double-double in just 21 minutes, tallying 15 points and 11 rebounds.

After the victory, the Pacers players mobbed Carlisle in the locker room, dousing him with water.

"I wouldn't call it pouring — it just came from every direction," Carlisle said of the celebration, then jokingly rubbed his shaved head as he delivered the punch line. "You can tell my hair's a little out of place, right?"

"Just really grateful for our team, for our ownership, a lot of great players over the years...It's been a good run and gonna move on to tomorrow."

"Coach Carlisle, he's had a lot of great success in this league, a lot of great players he's coached," Pacers forward Jalen Smith said. "For us to be a part of that history and his whole lineage, it's amazing for us...I'm happy for him. Obviously, he's a Hall of Famer. It's just a matter of time until he goes in there."

After dropping 43 points on Saturday against Charlotte, Haliburton picked up where he left off on Monday night. The All-Star guard scored eight points in the first five minutes against San Antonio, helping Indiana out to an early 18-13 lead.

Turner scored the next seven points for Indiana, but the Blue & Gold only led 25-23 following that outburst. The hosts finally broke open a significant lead shortly thereafter, reeling off a 10-0 run over a 2:01 stretch that featured 3-pointers from both Hield and Aaron Nesmith.

The Pacers maintained a double-digit lead for the remainder of the frame. Hield's three just before the buzzer capped a 44-point quarter in which they got to the line 13 times (and made all 13 free throws). Indiana took a 16-point lead into the second quarter.

The Pacers' offensive onslaught continued into the ensuing frame. Hield hit two more 3-pointers in the first 90 seconds of the second quarter. Andrew Nembhard quickly added two threes of his own and Nesmith's trey gave Indiana a 63-44 lead with 6:42 remaining in the first half, forcing a timeout from Popovich.

The stoppage didn't slow down the Blue & Gold. After an offensive foul on Turner, Indiana scored on its next eight offensive possessions, with four of those baskets coming from Haliburton — who hit two threes and converted two mid-range jumpers.

Hield's layup to cap that stretch gave the Pacers an 83-56 lead with 2:06 still to play in the first half, bringing Indiana within three points of the franchise record for points in a half, a mark set in the first half against Golden State on Jan. 15, 1990.

They tied the record on Bruce Brown's 3-pointer — Indiana's 14th three of the half — with 32.2 seconds remaining. They had a chance to break the record, but Toppin missed a jumper from the baseline as the buzzer sounded.

Still, Indiana had a commanding 86-61 lead at the break. The Pacers shot 58 percent from the field in the first half, including a blistering 14-for-22 (63.6 percent) from 3-point range while also going 14-for-14 from the free throw line in their historic outburst.

"The ball was just moving well," Haliburton said. "I thought we were putting good energy in the ball. I think we were just playing the right away. We were getting enough stops to allow us to play in transition. We understand with their length with Wembanyama and Zach Collins that this was a game where when you drive it you're looking to kick and get them really moving defensively. I thought we did a really good job tonight."

The Pacers continued to add to the margin in the third quarter. After five straight points from Wembanyama trimmed San Antonio's deficit to 21, the Pacers reeled off 15 unanswered points, the last six — including a ferocious one-hand dunk on a fastbreak — coming from Toppin.

After scoring 44 points in the first quarter and 42 in the second, Indiana "only" managed 33 in the third, but led by as many as 39 in the frame and took a 119-87 advantage into the fourth quarter.

The Pacers' starters never saw the floor in the final frame and both coaches went deep into their reserves early in the quarter with the outcome well in hand.

The only drama was if the Pacers would set a new single-game scoring record. The crowd caught wind of the pursuit late in the game and erupted when rookie Jarace Walker made two free throws to match the mark with 1:06 remaining, sighed when Walker missed a jumper that would have set the record, and playfully booed when veteran guard T.J. McConnell intentionally took a shot clock violation in the closing seconds.

Nesmith scored 15 points in just 16 minutes off the bench for Indiana, going 3-for-4 from 3-point range. Bennedict Mathurin added 10 points in the victory.

Former Pacer Doug McDermott led San Antonio with 17 points and four assists off the bench, going 4-for-6 from 3-point range. Keldon Johnson added 16 points, while Zach Collins had 14 and five rebounds.

Wembanyama struggled from the field, going just 3-for-12, but still managed to record a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds. The number one pick in the 2023 NBA Draft also had two blocks and a steal in 21 minutes.

The Pacers are now 2-1 on a busy homestand that features five games in seven nights. They will be off Tuesday before hosting Utah on Wednesday and then Milwaukee on Thursday.

Inside the Numbers

Haliburton topped 20 points for the fourth time in six games this season, but failed to record double-digit assists for the first time, mostly because he sat out the final 13:51 of the blowout victory.

Turner recorded his third double-double in seven games this season.

Toppin's 19 points were his most in seven games as a Pacer. He went 6-for-11 from the field and a perfect 6-for-6 from the free throw line.

Indiana shot a season-best 57.9 percent from the field and went 20-for-38 (52.6 percent) from 3-point range on Monday.

The Pacers outscored San Antonio 34-15 in fastbreak points.

Though only six players reached double figures, all 14 players that saw the floor for Indiana scored and several others had notable performances. Smith had nine points and seven rebounds, Nembhard had nine points and eight assists, and Brown finished with seven points, five rebounds, and four assists. Isaiah Jackson scored seven points off the bench and blocked two shots — including a highlight-reel swat of Wembanyama at the start of the second quarter — while rookie Ben Sheppard played the whole fourth quarter and scored seven points.

Indiana Pacers Postgame Media Availability (vs. San Antonio Spurs) | November 6, 2023

You Can Quote Me On That

"900 wins is ridiculous...I see why he has 900 wins. He's a great coach, great offensively and defensively, off court, on court. He's just an amazing coach all around. He wants to see everybody on this team do good and pushes everybody every day." -Toppin on Carlisle's milestone

"The thing about Rick, he's just a really smart guy. He really understands the game of basketball. He's seen a lot and he's been able to help me in so many different ways. What I appreciate about Rick is that we have a very honest relationship where we can bounce ideas off each other and he has no problem saying whatever he feels to me and I have no problem saying whatever I feel to him...I really am thankful for our relationship and really look forward to continuing to grow together." -Haliburton on his relationship with Carlisle

"I was off Saturday('s loss) when I got out of the shower. I washed it off, moved on, understand there's 82 games. The beautiful thing about Saturday's game is that we played again today. I think just keep being who I am and not overthinking the game and just play basketball and do what I do. My teammates have been a big help." -Haliburton on bouncing back from Saturday's loss to Cleveland

"We just wanted to keep force in the game on him, both vertical force with running as well as much horizontal force just to not allow his center of gravity to get by us. If he gets by you, he can just put his whole arm in the rim. I haven't seen anything like it. No one has." -Carlisle on the game plan of how to defend Wembanyama

"I thought he was really good. Obviously you guys know Wemby's a special player. Just understanding the nuances of guarding him...obviously he's a special player with a lot of room grow. I'm sure when we see him again he's going to become an even better player than he is now. But I thought Obi did a great job defensively and offensively of making him defend." -Haliburton on Toppin's defense against Wembanyama

"He's a very good player. It's like you think you can block his shot, but you can't. His wingspan is so long." -Toppin on guarding Wembanyama

"Defense is always going to turn into good offense. Especially with us, we're so good in transition. If we get defensive stops, we're one of if not the fastest team in the league. We're going to get two points or three points on the other side." -Toppin on defense fueling his offense

"I just love the vibe that he has every day. He's authentically grateful to be a teammate on this team. He's grateful to play with Tyrese. He loves Indiana. He doesn't force things. You never see him burp up a lousy shot. He plays within the team. This is the kind of message that we want to send to each other as we're playing, that we're all completely selfless and we're out there trying to do one thing and that is be successful together." -Carlisle on Toppin

"When we're able to run and put pressure on the rim running, threes open up for our shooters. And we have a lot of guys that can shoot. But unless you get stops and force into the paint, you're not going to get the kind of threes you want." -Carlisle on the Pacers' strong shooting from 3-point range

"I'm just shooting it. Obviously this whole offseason has been a great offseason for me, just putting in the work, just making sure that I'm putting in the time working on my craft. Just having that next-play attitude helps me out a lot because even if I miss it I'm not worried about if the next one is going to go in." -Smith on his strong start to the season offensively

"What you're seeing right now is an example of how this team has to mature...Part of the maturation of this team will be putting teams away and looking at the game the right way. We went into that third quarter, it was like the game's 0-0, let's approach the game like it." -Haliburton on not letting up despite building a big lead

Stat of the Night

The Pacers 152 points matched the NBA franchise record for points in the game and set a new record for points by Indiana in an NBA game in Indianapolis. The Blue & Gold previous scored 152 in a 57-point drubbing of the Thunder in Oklahoma City on May 1, 2021. The overall franchise record is still a ways off — 177 points in a win over the Pittsburgh Condors in an ABA game on April 12, 1970.


  • Turner played his 500th career game on Monday. He is the 17th player in franchise history to reach 500 games with the Pacers and the first since Roy Hibbert to reach the milestone.
  • Hield now has 1,729 career 3-pointers and is just two threes behind Carmelo Anthony for 27th place on the all-time list.
  • The Pacers and Spurs are scheduled to face off once more in the regular season on March 3 in San Antonio.

Up Next

The Pacers host Lauri Markkanen and the Utah Jazz at Gainbridge Fieldhouse on Wednesday, Nov. 8 at 7:00 PM ET. Find Tickets >>