The Indiana Pacers secured a remarkable 133-131 victory over the NBA Eastern Conference leaders, the Boston Celtics, despite facing adversity when point guard Tyrese Haliburton suffered a hamstring strain late in the second period. Carried off by teammates, Haliburton's absence posed a significant challenge for the Pacers.
However, Bennedict Mathurin stepped up, contributing 26 points off the bench. Reflecting on the game, Mathurin acknowledged the team's resilience in the face of adversity, stating, "Ty was down, but it felt like the team pretty much knew what to do. Everyone had to step up. If your name gets called, be ready to play."
Despite the loss of Haliburton, who led the team with an average of 24.2 points and a league-high 12.7 assists in 32 games, the Pacers rallied to secure the win, improving to 21-15 in the standings. The Boston Celtics, still atop the Eastern Conference with a 28-8 record, faced an unexpected challenge from the determined Pacers.
In other NBA action, Memphis Grizzlies' guard Ja Morant will miss the remainder of the season due to a shoulder injury sustained during practice. Morant, who previously served an NBA suspension, will undergo surgery to address the tear. Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Clippers, led by Paul George and James Harden, bounced back with a convincing 138-111 home win over the Phoenix Suns.
Giannis Antetokounmpo's triple-double for the Milwaukee Bucks was not enough to prevent a 132-116 home defeat by the Utah Jazz. The Washington Wizards, facing a fifth consecutive loss, fell 136-128 at home to the Oklahoma City Thunder, with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and rookie Chet Holmgren leading the charge.