Nembhard’s late 3 gives Pacers 111-106 victory over Knicks, cut NY’s lead to 2-1

APTOPIX Knicks Pacers Basketball
Indiana Pacers guard Andrew Nembhard celebrates after making a three-point basket during the second half of Game 3 against the New York Knicks in an NBA basketball second-round playoff series, Friday, May 10, 2024, in Indianapolis. The Pacers won 111-106. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Andrew Nembhard made a 31-foot, tiebreaking 3-pointer with 16 seconds left, Tyrese Haliburton scored 35 points and the Indiana Pacers rallied in the fourth quarter to beat the banged-up and short-handed New York Knicks 111-106 on Friday night in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinals.

The Knicks still lead the best-of-seven series 2-1 with Game 4 set for Sunday in Indianapolis. New York led by nine with 9:45 remaining and was in position to take a commanding 3-0 lead, but with Jalen Brunson slowed by a right foot injury, the Knicks couldn’t hold on.

Nembhard scored only five points — all in the final minute — while Haliburton finished with his second straight playoff career high. Pascal Siakam added 26 points and seven rebounds, and Myles Turner had 21 points and 10 rebounds.

Donte DiVincenzo led the Knicks with 35 points, going 7 of 11 on 3-pointers. Brunson had 26 points and six rebounds, including a tying 3 with 42 seconds left, but he barely hit the rim on another 3-point try with 13 seconds to go.

Alec Burks, who came in having played 1 minute in the postseason, scored 14 points in 21 minutes for the Knicks, who played without starting forward OG Anunoby. It’s unclear whether Anunoby can recover from his injured left hamstring to play Sunday, although he traveled with the team to Indianapolis.

The Knicks had already lost All-Star Julius Randle and key contributors Bojan Bogdanovic and Mitchell Robinson to season-ending injuries.

After blowing second-half leads in each of the first two games, it was the Pacers who turned this one around. With New York fans chanting “Let’s Go Knicks” in the Pacers’ arena, Indiana found the finishing kick it lacked earlier this week as new WNBA star Caitlin Clark watched the game from a suite with her boyfriend, Connor McCaffery, and Indiana Fever teammates.

Haliburton instigated the comeback after Indiana trailed 98-89 with 9:45 to play.

He completed a three-point play and then made back-to-back layups, cutting the deficit to two. Siakam tied the score at 99 with a three-point play with 5:42 left and when DiVincenzo broke free on a fast break, Haliburton helped jar the ball loose. Siakam responded by making one of two free throws to give Indiana a 100-99 lead at the 5:42 mark.

The teams traded the lead four more times, and Brunson’s 3 made it 106-all. Nembhard connected as the shot clock expired, the Pacers’ defense got the stop it needed, and Aaron Nesmith closed it out with two free throws.

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