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Feb 21, 2024 5:40 pm

Tyrese Haliburton, Pacers back in action vs. Pistons

Pistons, Pacers Haliburton

After serving as the unofficial host of All-Star weekend, Indiana Pacers point guard Tyrese Haliburton could probably use a few more days off.

Instead, Haliburton will rejoin his teammates when the Pacers resume their playoff push against the visiting Detroit Pistons on Thursday. Indiana currently holds the sixth spot in the Eastern Conference with a 31-25 record.

Haliburton participated in multiple events during All-Star weekend, which Indiana hosted for the first time since 1985. The fifth-year pro scored 32 points in the All-Star Game and relished the opportunity to represent the Pacers.

Haliburton is enjoying a breakout season while averaging 21.8 points and a league-high 11.7 assists. He drew high praise from former Pacers star Reggie Miller over the weekend.

“The way his teammates look at him, they look at him like they look at LeBron (James), they look at him like they look at (Nikola) Jokic, they look at him like they look at Giannis (Antetokounmpo),” Miller said. “Like we can do anything with this dude out there.”

Indiana begins a four-game homestand with a matchup against Detroit, which owns the league’s worst record at 8-46. The Pistons shook up their roster earlier this month, when they added seven new players at the trade deadline.

Detroit coach Monty Williams had a simple message for his team heading into the All-Star break.

“I told our guys, ‘We gotta come back with a great focus and determination to have some momentum going into the summer,'” Williams said. “That’s going to require a lot of sacrifice, determination and focus. We want to be able to win some games, but also grow as a program in the second part of the season.”

The rebuilding Pistons endured a 28-game losing streak earlier this season, but Williams has been encouraged by the development of young players such as Cade Cunningham, Jaden Ivey and Jalen Duren.

Cunningham is posting career highs in points (21.9) and assists (7.5) in his third season despite playing through left knee soreness.

“There’s ups and downs throughout the season,” Cunningham said. “Some games, I feel a lot better than others. My training staff, strength and conditioning staff — they’ve been great. I feel like they have almost an answer to everything for me, as far as different ways to get going.”

The Pistons are monitoring the status of guard Quentin Grimes, who was acquired from the New York Knicks on Feb. 8. Grimes has been out since his arrival due to a right knee sprain and is listed as questionable to face Indiana. He is listed as doubtful for Thursday’s game.

Forward Isaiah Stewart is also listed as questionable after missing the last eight games due to a left ankle sprain.

Indiana will be without forward Aaron Nesmith, who exited the team’s last game before the All-Star break with a right ankle injury. Nesmith is averaging a career-high 12.6 points while shooting 51.9 percent from the field and 45.2 percent from 3-point range.

“No update really other than not as bad as originally feared,” Pacers coach Rick Carlisle said on Tuesday. “He was limited today. He’s making significant progress each day. We’ll see how he’s doing in a couple days.”

–Field Level Media

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