HOUSTON (AP) — Tyrese Haliburton had 19 points and the Indiana Pacers overcame a huge early deficit to beat the Houston Rockets 99-91 on Friday night.
Myles Turner added 17 points and Jalen Smith had a career-high 18 rebounds as the Pacers won their third straight game on a night that saw coach Rick Carlisle kicked out before halftime for yelling at the officials.
A 4-0 run by the Rockets cut the lead to 5 with about two minutes left. They had two chances to get closer but turned the ball around before Jabari Smith Jr. missed 3. A layup by Haliburton after that made it 96-89 with less than a minute left.
“It wasn’t the prettiest game, (but) our guys were resilient after a terrible start,” said Pacers assistant coach Lloyd Pierce.
Pierce said the Pacers never came down despite the huge hole they found themselves in early.
“There wasn’t a moment when we thought we were out,” he said.
Houston led by about 10 minutes in the fourth quarter before Haliburton got hot and scored the next eight points to put the Pacers 82-75 ahead. Haliburton started the run with a 3-point play before knocking down a 3-point.
Smith made a jump shot for the Rockets, but Indiana capitalized on a 5-0 run after that to go 87-77 with five minutes remaining.
A modest 6-2 dash from Houston cut the lead to 6. But Andrew Nembhard made a 3-pointer to start a 5-2 run to make it 94-85 with 2:40 to go.
Eric Gordon had a season-high 24 points for the Rockets, who were unable to build despite their strong start in Wednesday night’s win over Dallas.
“It wasn’t that we didn’t put the ball in the right spot,” Houston coach Stephen Silas said. “It wasn’t like we didn’t get the ball to the edge. We just didn’t fire the shots that could carry us over the hill.”
Houston led early by as much as 20 and was up 63-56 after a dunk by Kenyon Martin Jr. with about 5 1/2 minutes left in the third quarter.
Pierce said the entire bench was upset that Haliburton didn’t get a foul call in the second quarter on the game that led to Carlisle’s ejection.
“It was frustrating not having a call on the edge,” he said. “He gets the first technique and probably gets emotional on the second.”
The way things were going in Indiana at the time, Pierce said it made sense that Carlisle was so upset about the call.
“We needed every break we could get so we weren’t called was one of those we had to fight for,” he said.
Pacers: Chris Duarte missed a fifth straight game with a sprained left ankle. …Hield had 10 points. … The Pacers only made 4 of their first 18 shots to allow Houston to take an early lead. …Smith scored 10 points.
Rockets: Kevin Porter Jr. missed with back pain. … Houston only made 6 of 28 3-pointers. … Martin had 12 points and eight rebounds. … Jalen Green had 16 points, five assists and five rebounds.
Elvin Hayes had his No. 44 jersey retired in a half-time ceremony. He was the Rockets’ first overall pick from the University of Houston in 1968 and spent his first four NBA seasons with the franchise, including the team’s first season at Houston in 1971-72. He returned to the team in 1981 and spent his final three seasons with the Rockets.
Hayes, a 12-time All-Star, was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1990, named one of the NBA’s 50 Greatest Players in 1996, and was named to the league’s 75th Anniversary team last year.
“This is something I never thought I would ever get,” said the 77-year-old. “Receiving this tonight is probably one of my greatest honors. I’ve received a lot of honors in basketball, but this one’s really awesome because it’s in Houston, where it all started for me at the University of Houston.”
Hayes also played in the game of the century in 1968 when No. 2 Houston broke UCLA’s 47-game winning streak at the top with a 71-69 win in front of more than 52,000 fans at the Astrodome.
Pacers: Host the Magic on Tuesday nights.
Rockets: hosts Golden State on Sunday night.
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