John Haliburton calls his shot: 'We have a team in Indiana, world. Come see us.'
Tyrese's dad knew there was no keeping his under-the-weather son from playing on Monday. "You couldn’t hold him back if you wanted to.”
John Haliburton wasn’t leaving the court anytime soon.
As the buzzer sounded to the Pacers’ 122-112 win over the Boston Celtics on Monday to advance on in the NBA’s In-Season Tournament, Tyrese’s dad moved from his courtside seat to the other side of the basket stanchion to celebrate with some of the players on their way off the court.
They had just pulled off the upset and improved to 5-0 in tournament play. He wasn’t surprised because he saw it coming all along.
“I told everybody that we were going to beat Boston,” John told Fieldhouse Files after the game. “We didn’t need any luck because I don’t believe in it. It was all fate. When I say something and God is saying it, you can’t miss.”
The Pacers outscored the Celtics by 14 points in the third quarter, then used a late 9-0 spurt to put the game away. Of course, at the center of it, was one of John’s sons: Tyrese.
On the big stage against arguably the best team in the NBA, Tyrese recorded his first NBA triple-double (26 points, 10 rebounds and 13 assists) despite not feeling close to 100%.
But big players — franchise players — rise up in the biggest moments.
Haliburton sat out the previous game in Miami, then spent the next two days on meds and in bed trying to get healthy enough for the game. Still, there was zero chance he would miss this game.
“There was no doubt about that,” he said after the win. “I don’t care what was going on.”
So not only did he play and elevate his team, scoring or assisting on 24 of their first 27 points in the second half, but he also sealed the win with a big four-point play with 1:33 to play.
“What I liked about it was he showed up,” John said. “That’s what we got to have. He showed up and did what he’s supposed to do. All I can say is put some respect on his name.”
John then turned around, lifted both arms up to point to the back of his custom aqua-colored long-sleeve t-shirt that matched the team’s tournament court.
“Because he is him,” he continued.
“He’s not feeling too great, but sometimes we have to push ourselves. If you ain’t feeling good enough to play, don’t go out and hurt your team. But he looked at me and said, ‘Dad, I’m good.’