NBA: The Pacers advance and send the Knicks on vacation

The Indiana Pacers finished the job.

A 130-109 victory Sunday afternoon allowed them to cause an upset and eliminate the Knicks, second team in the East, in seven games. The Pacers avoided elimination in Game 6.

The Pacers posted a historic 67.1% shooting rate, a record in NBA playoff history. They now have a meeting with the Celtics in the Eastern finals.

Indiana quickly sent a message to its opponents with 39 points in the first quarter. The Pacers set an NBA record for most points in the first quarter of a Game 7. Indiana’s lead midway through the game was 15 points.

A good start to the second half, however, helped the Knicks get within six points of the Pacers, to bring the score to 73-67 in favor of Indiana. However, an 11-3 run by the Pacers allowed them to regain a comfortable lead fairly quickly in the third quarter.

As if the Knicks weren’t in enough trouble, they lost the services of their star player Jalen Brunson, who was dealing with a broken left hand. Brunson left the game with 4:06 remaining in the third quarter and New York confirmed he would not return until later in the game.

Brunson had 17 points and 9 assists in 29 minutes of play before leaving the game.

In the Pacers camp, the team was able to count on the excellent performance of Tyrese Haliburton, who scored 26 points in addition to adding five assists and three rebounds. Haliburton was a big help for the Pacers late in the first quarter with 14 points in the final four minutes of the quarter.

Pascal Siakam had a good game with 20 points, while Andrew Nembhard NeSmith added 29 points. Myles Turner, Aaron Nesmith and TJ McConnell all reached 10 points in the victory.

New York, for its part, was able to count on Donte DiVincenzo’s 39 points and Alec Burks’ 26 points.

Returning to the game after missing four games, former Raptors OG Anunoby scored five points in five minutes, before immediately leaving the game.

The first game between the Celtics and the Pacers will take place on Tuesday evening.

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