Pacers’ Tyrese Halliburton out for Game 3, doubtful for Game 4 with hamstring strain: Sources

INDIANAPOLIS – Speedster Dyers Halliburton will not play in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals on Saturday and is doubtful for Game 4 because of the left hamstring he re-injured in Thursday’s loss to the Boston Celtics.

Halliburton underwent an MRI on Saturday that showed a strain and is considered day-to-day. A league source said he felt better than he did Thursday and hoped to play Saturday, but doctors made the call to rule him out of Game 3.

“Dyreese wants to play, wants to play hard,” Pacers coach Rick Carlisle confirmed before Game 3. “The decision about tonight was taken out of his hands the day before. I decided tonight was not an option. He’s fine — we’ll see where he is on Monday (for Game 4). And that’s it.

Halliburton suffered a similar leg injury in January and missed 10 games. Asked about Carlisle when Halliburton strained his hamstring again in Game 2, the coach snapped: “I gave you my Tyrus stuff, I said — that’s it.”

Celtic lead the series 2-0. Indiana took a late lead in Game 1, but was easily defeated in Game 2 after Halliburton was sacked in the third quarter. He exited with 10 points and eight assists in 28 minutes and a sore chest. Boston’s Jaylen Brown hit him while trying to get a rebound in the first half of Game 2, causing Halliburton to have imaging on his chest at halftime.

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Halliburton, a third-team All-NBA selection this year, averaged 18.7 points and 8.2 assists in the playoffs. The Pacers went 6-4 without him during that stretch in January, but the playoffs, and the mighty Celtics in particular, are an entirely different beast.

Boston has lost just twice in the postseason so far. The Celtics will be without reserve center Luke Cornett (sprained wrist) in Game 3, and starting point guard Jrue Holiday is questionable to play with an illness.

No NBA team has ever bounced back from a 3-0 deficit in a playoff series, so Indiana can’t afford to lose Saturday.

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(Photo: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

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