Postgame: Pacers Locker Room - Aug. 9, 2021

Aug. 9, 2021 - Coach Mike Weinar, Chris Duarte, and Duane Washington Jr. speak with the media following Indiana's 94-86 loss to the Knicks in their Summer League opener.

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Postgame: Pacers Locker Room - Aug. 9, 2021

Aug. 9, 2021 - Coach Mike Weinar, Chris Duarte, and Duane Washington Jr. speak with the media following Indiana's 94-86 loss to the Knicks in their Summer League opener.
Aug 9, 2021  |  02:42

Duarte Hits the Tough Shot

Chris Duarte knocks down the contested three just before halftime.
Aug 9, 2021  |  00:14

Chris Duarte Steal & Pull-Up Three

Aug. 9, 2021 - Chris Duarte scores his first points as a professional, converting the transition three after a steal on the defensive end.
Aug 9, 2021  |  00:14

Game Rewind: Pacers 86, Knicks 94 (Summer League)

by Wheat Hotchkiss
Pacers.com Writer/Editor
@Wheat_Hotchkiss

The Pacers dropped their first game in the 2021 NBA Summer League, falling to the New York Knicks on Monday afternoon in Las Vegas, 94-86.

After falling into an early 5-0 hole, the Pacers responded with a 17-6 run to surge ahead. Rookie guard Chris Duarte scored his first points as a professional after intercepting an Obi Toppin pass and then pushing the break before pulling up for a 3-pointer with 6:45 remaining in the first quarter.

Fellow rookie Duane Washington Jr. added a three of his own shortly thereafter to help extend the Pacers' run. Indiana ultimately took a 22-18 lead into the second quarter.

Washington hit back-to-back treys early in the ensuing frame. Indiana maintained a narrow lead until late in the half, when Miles McBride's 3-pointer put the Knicks in front with 1:21 remaining, 39-37.

Oshae Brissett hit two free throws on the other end to tie the game before Immanuel Quickley and Keifer Sykes traded buckets on the next two possessions. After a Knicks miss, the Pacers put the ball in Duarte's hands. The rookie took a tough shot with a defender in his face, but somehow managed to still convert the three from the top of the arc, giving Indiana a 44-41 lead at halftime.

Duarte added several more plays to his highlight reel after halftime. On the opening possession of the second half, he weaved his way through the lane for a basket plus the foul. He later added a two-hand block of Toppin's layup attempt before burying his third 3-pointer of the afternoon.

"I thought his awareness was good," Pacers Summer League head coach Mike Weinar said of Duarte. "I thought his energy level was good. There's some technique things we'll clean up."

Washington also remained hot in the third quarter. After going 4-for-4 in the first half, the rookie guard from Ohio State converted three more attempts — including his fourth 3-pointer of the game — in the frame.

"He's a very energetic young man and that's a positive in all environments," Weinar said. "Been really a good influence for us in camp and I was really happy he was able to succeed today."

Despite the strong play of their rookies, the Pacers relinquished the lead in the third quarter and headed into the fourth trailing, 67-62.

The Knicks remained in front throughout the fourth quarter. Indiana managed to trim the deficit to 81-79 following a pair of Brissett free throws with 4:42 remaining, but New York responded with five straight points to push the lead back to seven.

Brissett converted a three-point play with 1:03 to play to make it an 89-86 game, but Toppin answered with an and-one of his own on the other end.

Washington led Indiana with 23 points in the loss, going 8-for-9 from the field and 5-for-5 from 3-point range.

"I was able to make some shots today," Washington said. "Some days all those shots aren't going to fall. For me, I've just got to continue to play hard, compete on both ends of the floor, be vocal, be competitive, be a good leader, be a great teammate, and good things will happen."

Brissett added 22 points, seven rebounds, and three assists while going 10-for-10 from the free throw line.

Duarte tallied 14 points, three assists, two rebounds, two steals, and two blocks in his first Summer League action, going 4-for-8 from the field and 3-for-7 from 3-point range.

Fellow first-round pick Isaiah Jackson was cleared to join the team early in Monday's contest after having to wait as the league processed the five-team trade that brought Jackson to Indiana. Despite having no practice time, Jackson logged 7:22 of action on Monday, tallying two blocks and a rebound while missing his lone shot attempt.

"His minutes will increase, but I liked his attentiveness and his eagerness to play," Weinar said. "He was excited to get in there and we were excited to see him."

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