There were three kinds of NBA fans on Tuesday night. Those who watched the Hawks-Pacers game and were disgusted by the absence of any sort of defense. Those who watched the Hawks-Pacers game and didn’t sleep a wink as they were trying to come down from the adrenaline rush of one of the most insane basketball games in recorded history.
And then there were those who didn’t watch the game at all.
The Hawks lost, but if you didn’t watch this game and you’re an NBA fan, I hate to tell you this, but you were the real loser on Tuesday night. This game, a 157-152 victory for the Pacers, wasn’t, in fact, a regular NBA game. It was an All-Star game.
Up and down. Bucket after bucket after bucket. We’re talking about the highest pre-game over/under line since 1995 at 252.5 points (depending on your book), and these maniacs blew past that total less than a third of the way into the fourth quarter. The live line eventually went over 300. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that happen.
Again, that is an All-Star game total.
Not a real game.
But this was a real game, sort of, and it still went over at 309 points! That’s the largest cashed over in 32 years. Obviously a massive output was forecasted here with two fast-paced, top-shelf offenses going against two bottom-10 defenses, but it can only go so high and still get bets on both sides.
If you were scared off by the bloated line and either stayed away or, worse, went with the under, perhaps you should’ve checked Indiana’s early season scoring trends. Entering Tuesday, the over had hit in 11 of Indiana’s 12 games by an average of almost 14 points above the line.
Indiana has now been involved in the four highest-scoring games of the season, scoring 157 on Tuesday and 152 against the Spurs, while giving up 155 to the Celtics and 152, again on Tuesday, to the Hawks — who, just to make this an even tougher pill to swallow for Atlanta fans, held a 20-point lead over Indiana late in the second quarter.
If you want to just watch the last six minutes, which was a straight-up fireworks show, here you go.
The 157 points is the highest scoring total in Indiana’s NBA franchise history. The 309 total points are the most points scored in a game this season and the 16th most all time. For the record, the highest scoring total in NBA history came in 1983 when the Pistons beat the Nuggets 186-184 for a total of 370 points.
But that game went to three overtimes. The highest non-overtime game in history came in 1990, when the Warriors beat the Nuggets 162-158 for a total of 320. This Hawks-Pacers game at 309 goes down as the ninth-highest non-overtime scoring total in history.
Some of the stats: Seven players scored in double figures for the Pacers, led by Tyrese Haliburton’s 37, while six scored at least 14 for the Hawks, led by Trae Young’s 38.
Both teams shot 60% from the field and 48% from 3. Indiana’s 22 made 3-pointers are the second most this season, one off the 23 Dallas made on Oct. 30 against Memphis.
Both teams shot 28 free throws.
Oh by the way, the Pacers, who moved to 8-5 overall, clinched a spot in the In-Season Tournament knockout round by winning the Eastern Conference’s Group A with a 3-0 record.