INDIANAPOLIS (AP) Pascal Siakam scored 21 points, Aaron Nesmith had 17 and the Indiana Pacers beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 126-112 on Friday night for their ninth victory in 14 games.

Pacers All-Star Tyrese Haliburton was held to eight points, but had 11 assists. With his 11th assist, a fourth-quarter pass setting up Nesmith’s 3-pointer, Haliburton broke the Pacers’ single-season record of 713 set by Mark Jackson in 1997-98.

“(Haliburton) should never be defined by whether he’s getting a certain number of points,” Indiana coach Rick Carlisle said. “He’s a guy who’s a master at facilitating for his teammates. Mark Jackson was a really good player. That record stood for a long time. (Haliburton) is going to shatter that record again next season when he doesn’t miss 15 games.”

T.J. McConnell and Myles Turner added 16 points apiece for Indiana.

“We got a great group,” said McConnell, who added 10 assists and five rebounds. “I feel like our bench really has an identity. I’m just trying to do my job. We’re all really excited. We’re all looking forward to the playoffs.”

Lu Dort led Oklahoma City with 22 points. Fighting for the top spot in the Western Conference, the Thunder were without injured All-Star Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and second-leading scorer Jalen Williams.

“Those are injuries that basically the timetable is dictated by how they respond to the recovery and that whole process,” Thunder coach Mark Daigneault said. “It’s a quad contusion (for Gilgeous-Alexander). Jalen’s an ankle sprain. We’ll let the timetable play out.”

Kenrich Williams added 18 points and eight rebounds for the Thunder. Josh Giddey had 14 points, 12 assists and nine rebounds.

“Offensively, we played solid,” Williams said. “Defensively, they got some easy looks in transition. It’s about cutting those out and not giving up easy 3s, easy layups.”

Indiana shot 52% and made 15 3-pointers to Oklahoma City’s eight, while the Thunder shot 49% and committed 15 turnovers. The Pacers broke it open in the fourth quarter, leading by 18.

Haliburton slapped hands with fans in the first row after making a fallaway 3-pointer at the third-quarter buzzer to give Indiana a 100-89 advantage.

After falling behind by 10 in the first quarter, the Pacers closed the period on a 9-0 run to trail just 32-31. That momentum carried over to the second, with Indiana’s run turning into a 25-5 burst that was capped by Jalen Smith’s dunk for a 47-37 lead.

Smith, who had 12 points and six rebounds, was helped to the locker room midway through the third quarter and did not return. The Pacers classified Smith’s injury as a sprained left ankle.

“I’m all good, all good,” Smith said with a smile when asked how he felt.


Thunder: At Charlotte on Sunday night.

Pacers: Host Miami on Sunday.



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