Hot-shooting Pacers fend off Rockets

Pascal Siakam scored a team-high 29 points while Myles Turner added 21 points as the Indiana Pacers held on for a 132-129 victory over the Houston Rockets on Tuesday in Indianapolis.

The Pacers extended a rally initiated midway through the third quarter into the fourth, securing a 14-point lead before the Rockets came back to life. Jalen Green scored 12 of his game-high 30 points in the final frame, and his 3-pointer with 46 seconds left pulled Houston within 130-127.

But Tyrese Haliburton answered with a difficult driving layup at the 21-second mark, and the Pacers survived three desperation heaves from behind the arc by the Rockets to earn the win.

Haliburton posted 18 points and seven assists while T.J. McConnell and Buddy Hield combined for 29 points and 10 assists off the bench for Indiana, which shot 62.8 percent and made 15 of 32 3-pointers.

Alperen Sengun and Jabari Smith Jr. scored 20 points apiece for the Rockets and combined for 19 rebounds. Dillon Brooks added 23 points while rookie Amen Thompson, starting in place of Fred VanVleet (adductor), produced 13 points, 13 rebounds, six assists and three blocks.

Indiana seized upon the Rockets’ sudden issues with ball security in the third quarter. After committing only six turnovers in a frenetic first half, Houston doubled that total in the third, including four turnovers down the stretch of that period.

Smith helped Houston reclaim its 10-point lead at 85-75 with two free throws at the 9:33 mark before Hield keyed a 7-0 spurt with a 3-pointer. Siakam later ignited a 17-3 Indiana rally with a 3, and Hield gave the Pacers their first lead since the end of the first at 100-98 with a 3 at the 2:08 mark.

In the closing minutes, McConnell tallied a driving layup, an elbow jumper and a three-point play that provided the Pacers a 106-99 lead entering the fourth. Houston shot 33.3 percent in the third to Indiana’s 65.2 percent.

The Rockets were far more prolific in the first half, shooting 65.2 percent en route to a 75-68 halftime lead.

Houston started the game 7-for-7 from the floor yet couldn’t fully wrestle momentum as the opening period featured four ties and nine lead changes. The Pacers shot 70.8 percent in the frame, but Houston answered with 64 percent shooting and took the lead again with a 9-0 run to open the second.

Indiana shaved a 10-point deficit to 61-58 with a series of scores at the rim, but the Rockets’ offset the Pacers’ 40 first-half paint points by shooting 8-for-12 from behind the 3-point line.