INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Myles Turner had season highs of 37 points and 12 rebounds, and the Indiana Pacers beat the New Orleans Pelicans 129-122 on Monday night for their fourth win in five games.
”That was one of his most impactful games since I’ve been here,” Pacers coach Rick Carlisle said of Turner. ”But a big point night should not be what this is about. This should be about the team. He scored all those points to help our team win.”
Tyrese Haliburton added 20 points and 13 assists for the Pacers, making six 3-pointers. Buddy Hield had 20 points with five 3-pointers. Jalen Smith added 15 points and 11 rebounds.
Turner had been averaging 13.8 points in five games after missing the season’s first four starts with a sore ankle.
”My biggest thing is just trying to stay healthy and keep my rhythm going,” Turner said. ”It was a great individual performance, great team performance. All eyes forward.”
The Pacers made 22 3-pointers, seventh-most in franchise history, compared to the Pelicans’ 14.
”This was just an unbelievable game, really spirited from start to finish,” Carlisle said. ”A lot of guys contributed. We just had a real connected spirit tonight.”
Brandon Ingram scored 29 points and Zion Williamson had 26 for the Pelicans, who like the Pacers are 5-5 but have lost two in a row for the first time.
Pelicans coach Willie Green was displeased about his players’ lack of effort.
”We know we have an opportunity to do something special,” Green said. ”But we can’t just roll the balls out and beat teams. We have to work at it. We have to compete. We have to play hard. I just didn’t think we did it up to our level tonight.”
Green pointed a finger at himself for the Pelicans not being better prepared – ”I promise we will be better.”
The Pacers scored the game’s initial nine points, but the Pelicans gradually trimmed the deficit to 32-30 by the end of the first quarter. Both teams came out shooting from long range, as the Pelicans made 7 of 10 from beyond the arc and the Pacers hit 6 of 13.
Turner made all five of his first-quarter shots including a pair of 3s for 12 points.
Haliburton, rookie Andrew Nembhard and Hield hit 3s near the end of the first half as the Pacers closed on a 9-4 run to take a 58-55 halftime lead. Both teams had 10 3s at the break, although the Pacers attempted 26 of their 42 shots from 3 while the Pelicans had 19 attempts.
”When Buddy and me came here in a trade, we just brought a lot of energy and I think guys feed off that,” Haliburton said, referring to a February trade that brought them to Indiana.
The Pelicans trailed by as many as 13 points midway through the third quarter. All five Pacers starters had scored in double digits compared to just three Pelicans. Turner closed the third with a 3-pointer from the top of the key for a 100-91 lead.
”We just have to play 48 minutes (and) right now, we’re not,” Green said. ”That’s why we’re losing some of these games that we’re capable of winning.”
Pelicans: Have not started a season 6-4 or better since 2014. … Next game will be eighth out of 11 on the road before a six-game homestand. … Reserve G-F Garrett Temple missed the game for personal reasons.
Pacers: Nembhard started for SG Chris Duarte, who is expected to miss 4-6 weeks with a sprained left ankle suffered Friday. Nembhard, who had 15 points, made his first NBA start because the Pacers want rookie 18.6-point scorer Bennedict Mathurin to continue as the sixth man. … Are two games into a four-game homestand.
Pelicans: At Chicago on Wednesday.
Pacers: Host Denver on Wednesday.
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