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Pacers' Tyrese Haliburton out for Game 3 vs. Boston Saturday - NBC Sports

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Indiana Pacers v Boston Celtics - Game Two

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - MAY 23: Tyrese Haliburton #0 of the Indiana Pacers dribbles the ball during the second quarter in Game Two of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Boston Celtics at TD Garden on May 23, 2024 in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

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In Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals, the Pacers were +1 in the nearly 28 minutes Tyrese Haliburton played. They were -17 in the minutes he sat.

That stat matters because Tyrese Haliburton is out for Game 3 of the East finals with a sore left hamstring, an aggravation of an injury from earlier in the season, a story broken by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, and since was confirmed by other reports.

While no decision has been made on Game 4 on Monday, there are “serious questions” about Haliburton’s availability for that game, too. While it’s too early to start shoveling dirt on the Pacers’ season, it’s tough to see a path to them coming back to win the series without their best player.

Haliburton initially strained his hamstring against Boston on Jan. 8. He missed 10 games with the injury and was never the same player after his return.

Indiana comes home down 0-2 to Boston and now faces a must-win game without their All-NBA point guard and the hub of their offense (no NBA team has ever come back in a series from down 0-3). Haliburton averaged 20.1 points and 10.9 assists a game for the Pacers this season. Expect T.J. McConnell, who has been good this series but is not as dynamic as Haliburton, to get the start.

Pacers coach Rick Carlisle said Haliburton was having work done on his hamstring at halftime of Game 2, but tried to play through it in the third quarter. Haliburton checked himself out of the game with 3:44 left in the third quarter and did not return. Now we may not see him again this series.

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