NBA: Pacers’ Tyrese Haliburton out for Game 3

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Indiana Pacers star Tyrese Haliburton will miss Saturday night’s Eastern Conference finals Game 3 at Indianapolis against the Boston Celtics, coach Rick Carlisle said about 90 minutes prior to tipoff.

Haliburton, who was named to the All-NBA team this week, suffered a hamstring injury during Thursday’s Game 2 in Boston and left in the third quarter.

“He very much wants to play, desperately wants to play,” Carlisle said during his pregame availability. “But the decision on tonight was taken out of his hands earlier in the day. It was determined tonight was not an option. He is feeling better and we’ll see where he is on Monday.”

T.J. McConnell will become Indiana’s main distributor with Haliburton out.

“He has great confidence as a competitor,” Carlisle said of McConnell. “He’s always going to play like he hasn’t fully proven it yet. He’s been tremendous for us all year long. He’s always going to keep fighting like it’s Day One. That’s what makes him special.”

The Celtics, who hold a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series, listed guard Jrue Holiday (illness) as questionable on the injury report Saturday afternoon.

Haliburton led the NBA in assists, dishing out 10.9 per game to complement his 20.1 points per game as the Pacers defied the skeptics and went 47-35 during the regular season.

The Pacers defeated the Milwaukee Bucks and New York Knicks in the first two playoff rounds before falling into an 0-2 hole against Boston.

Haliburton has played an average of 34.8 minutes during Indiana’s 15 postseason games, scoring 18.7 points per game and leading the team with 8.2 assists per game.

-Field Level Media

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