Pacers tie franchise record with 157 points, clinch playoff spot with win over Hawks

The Indiana Pacers are entering the postseason on a high note.

The Pacers clinched a playoff spot in emphatic fashion on Sunday with a 157-115 win over the Atlanta Hawks. The point total tied a franchise record for a single game and secured a playoff berth.

With the No. 6 seed, the Pacers will avoid the NBA play-in tournament and face the No. 3 seed Milwaukee Bucks in the first round of the playoffs. Myles Turner led the effort on Sunday with 31 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks. The postseason berth is Indiana's first since the 2019-20 season.

The Hawks had little to play for on Sunday having entered their season finale locked into the No. 10 seed in the Eastern Conference and the last spot in the play-in tournament. They'll face the No. 9 seed Chicago Bulls on Wednesday in the play-in tournament. The loser will be eliminated from the postseason.

Indiana entered Sunday in sixth place in the East in a crowded race for the conference's final guaranteed playoff berths. The victory secured a 47-35 record, guaranteeing a top-six finish.

Myles Turner led a historic Pacers scoring effort Sunday with 32 points. (Trevor Ruszkowski/Reuters)
Myles Turner led a historic Pacers scoring effort Sunday with 32 points. (Trevor Ruszkowski/Reuters)

The NBA's highest-scoring team (122.9 points per game), the Pacers have had their best scoring outings this season against the Hawks. Sunday's win was the third time Indiana has scored 150 points or more against Atlanta. The Pacers previously matched their franchise record with a 157-152 win over Atlanta on Nov. 21. They beat the Hawks, 150-116 on Jan. 5.

The Pacers set the tone early on Sunday while opening up a 49-35 lead through the first quarter. The Hawks offered little resistance from there. Indiana led 86-72 at halftime, tying a franchise record for points in the first half. The Pacers then outscored the Hawks, 39-21 in the third quarter, putting any hopes of a Hawks comeback well out of reach.

Seven Pacers players scored in double figures, including three off the bench. Pascal Siakam posted 28 points and six rebounds. T.J. McConnell tallied 17 points and eight assists while shooting 7 of 11 from the field. All-Star Tyrese Haliburton was the primary facilitator while posting 12 points and 13 assists. The Pacers shot 65% from the field and 52.8% (19 of 36) from 3-point distance.