Tyrese Haliburton stats today: Pacers star shines with first-career triple-double to defeat Celtics in In-Season Tournament

If you weren’t so sure about the NBA’s new In-Season Tournament going into the year, it’s safe to say your opinion changed after the first-ever knockout game.

Hali-lujah.

The Pacers hosted the Celtics at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis and everything about the “win or go home” atmosphere delivered. The court was bright, the crowd was rocking and Indiana, powered by rising star guard Tyrese Haliburton, proved why it is one of the most exciting young teams in the league.

Haliburton has become an NBA League Pass darling amidst a breakout season that has not only looked like an All-Star-level leap, but one that has his name popping up in MVP discussions.

He went into this contest averaging 27.0 points and a league-leading 11.8 assists per game, drawing frequent comparisons to two-time MVP Steve Nash for the way he affects the game as a prolific playmaker.

On a national stage, with no overlapping games and all eyes on the IST, Haliburton didn’t waste the opportunity.

The 23-year-old completely took over in the second half to lead the Pacers past the tournament-favorite Celtics and advance to Las Vegas for the highly anticipated NBA Cup Final Four.

MORE: The top storylines to watch in the In-Season Tournament Knockout Round

For more on Haliburton’s captivating takeover, The Sporting News has you covered below.

Tyrese Haliburton takes over In-Season Tournament with first-career triple-double

Haliburton had missed the Pacers’ last game with an upper respiratory infection, and he was still feeling ill ahead of this contest. He shed the questionable tag just ahead of tip-off, allowing the rising star to show out in his first playoff-like atmosphere.

It wasn’t the prettiest of starts for Haliburton. The Celtics had defensive stopper Jrue Holiday hounding him out of the gate. They scrambled like madmen to try and slow down Haliburton and the Pacers’ fast-paced offense in transition and it was working at first.

NOH: Rick Carlisle built the best offense in history by trusting Tyrese Haliburton

Haliburton only had seven points and two assists at the half and Indiana trailed by seven points. He admitted after the game that he was gassed going into the locker room, needing his inhaler to get right.

Haliburton clearly caught his breath during the break, because he came out scorching earth in the third quarter.

Before you could blink, the Pacers had wiped away Boston’s lead with Haliburton doing everything on the offensive end. Here’s how Indiana turned a seven-point deficit into a four-point lead with three minutes remaining in the frame:

  • Haliburton assist on Myles Turner FG
  • Haliburton 3-point FG
  • Haliburton FG
  • Haliburton assist on Obi Toppin FG
  • Haliburton 3-point FG
  • Haliburton assist on Myles Turner FG
  • Haliburton assist on Obi Toppin 3-point FG
  • Haliburton assist on Myles Turner 3-point FG
  • Bruce Brown and-one
  • Haliburton FG
  • Haliburton FG

For those counting at home, Haliburton scored or assisted on 24 of the Pacers’ first 27 points to start the second half, giving Indiana a seven-point lead going into the fourth quarter.

Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown started to flip a switch to help the Celtics get back into the contest, but every time Boston got close, Haliburton had an answer.

When Tatum hit a free throw to give the Celtics a lead with 4:19 to play, Haliburton responded with a filthy stepback 3 that had Holiday — one of the best perimeter defenders in the NBA — on skates.

A few possessions later Tatum delivered another clutch midrange bucket to tie the game with under two minutes to play, but Haliburton countered with what would become a game-sealing four-point play dagger to sink Boston’s NBA Cup hopes.

The moment wasn’t too big for Haliburton because Haliburton was the moment.

He finished with his first-career triple-double, going for 26 points, 13 assists, 10 rebounds and zero (!) turnovers to help the Pacers advance to Las Vegas for the IST semifinals on Thursday, Dec. 7.

In the process, Haliburton furthered his case as the best pure point guard in the NBA today.

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