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Nembhard Jaw-Dropping 31-Footer Seals Pacers’ Victory Against Knicks



That was just an in-the-moment type of thing," Andrew Nembhard said of the late 31-foot heave that lifted the Pacers to a 111-106 Game 3 win.

In a pivotal moment during Game 3, Andrew Nembhard revitalized the Indiana Pacers with a remarkable 31-foot shot just as the shot clock neared expiration. This critical play unfolded with a mere 16 seconds remaining, effectively breaking a deadlock and propelling the Pacers to a 111-106 triumph over the New York Knicks.

The significance of Nembhard’s shot reverberates beyond mere points on the scoreboard. As it notably shifted the series dynamics to a 2-1 standing in favor of the Knicks. Such a timely display of precision shooting underscores. Nembhard’s instrumental role in altering the course of the game and potentially the series as a whole.

In a defining moment of his career, Andrew Nembhard unleashed a 31-foot shot that matched his longest ever. Although it was far from graceful. He hurried the shot, scrambling backward to create space, almost losing control of the ball in the process.

Yet, as the ball sailed through the net, sparking jubilation among the home fans, its impact reverberated beyond the court. This seemingly imperfect shot proved to be game changing, altering the trajectory of the series.


Nembhard admitted, “I can’t claim that was a result of practicing. That was purely spontaneous.” The unexpected nature of his game winning shot couldn’t overstated. Especially considering Nembhard’s struggles earlier in the game.

Throughout the series, he had faced challenges guarding Knicks’ star Jalen Brunson. Who had scored 33 points on 14 of 21 shooting when Nembhard was defending him. Pacers coach Rick Carlisle made a pivotal decision. By informing Nembhard on Thursday night that he would replaced by the taller Aaron Nesmith in guarding Brunson for Game 3.

Andrew Nembhard said of the late 31-foot heave.
Andrew Nembhard said of the late 31-foot heave.

Nembhard encountered offensive woes, failing to sink his initial six shots and remaining scoreless until the fourth quarter.

However, any prior struggles faded into insignificance with his redemption story unfolding dramatically. In a moment of sheer triumph, Nembhard buried the colossal basket over Brunson. Who was vigorously attempting to thwart his shot.

In a chaotic turn of events, a broken play unfolded as Tyrese Haliburton found himself trapped near half court with scant time remaining. In a split second decision, Haliburton launched the ball to Nembhard, who left with little time to act. “I put Drew in a tough spot, and he just pulled off an incredible shot,” admitted Haliburton. “He really rose to the occasion when we needed him most.”


Nembhard’s ability to deliver under pressure proved invaluable, turning a seemingly dire situation into a moment of triumph for the Pacers.

Haliburton was dominating the game, racking up an impressive 35 points alongside seven assists. His proficiency from beyond the arc was evident, having already drained six 3-pointers. Recognizing the threat he posed, the Knicks were determined to disrupt his rhythm.

\”Haliburton was on fire, so we had to double team him,” explained Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau. “We executed a solid rotation, but he still managed to nail a fantastic shot.” Despite the Knicks’ concerted efforts to contain him, Haliburton’s offensive prowess continued to shine, further complicating their defensive strategy.


In the first two games of the series, the Knicks had clinched victory by capitalizing on key plays. Which securing crucial offensive rebounds, particularly in the fourth quarters. However, this dynamic shifted in Game 3. With the Knicks forced to adjust their lineup due to OG Anunoby’s hamstring injury, they adopted a smaller lineup. This adjustment played into the Pacers’ hands, enabling them to dominate the offensive boards in the crucial moments of the game.

A pivotal moment came with an offensive rebound secured by Nesmith, granting the Pacers. An additional possession that ultimately set the stage for Nembhard’s game-winning shot. This reversal of fortune highlighted the Pacers’ ability to adapt and capitalize on opportunities when they arose.

“At the end of the day, he shouldn’t have gotten that shot because we should have grabbed the rebound.” Which remarked Knicks guard Josh Hart, who had an impressive 18 rebounds during the game.

Continuing the trend from the previous two games, Game 3 was not without its share of officiating controversy. With just over two minutes remaining and the game deadlocked, Hart found himself on a breakaway after a steal.


However, Pacers center Myles Turner had other plans, as he hustled back on defense. Which executed a remarkable block from behind, completely altering the momentum of the game. This pivotal defensive play by Turner showcased the Pacers’ resilience and defensive prowess when it mattered most. While also sparking debate about the nature of the call among fans and analysts alike.

Replays later revealed a contentious moment in the game. Turner’s block potentially occurred just after the ball made contact with the backboard, suggesting a possible goaltending violation. Surprisingly, this critical play was not subjected to review.

“I’m certain it was a goaltend,” asserted Hart. “I saw it.”

Despite the controversy surrounding the block, it stood as the highlight of Turner’s stellar performance. Throughout the game, Turner demonstrated his prowess, contributing 21 points, 10 rebounds, and 3 blocks. His impactful play on both ends of the court solidified his status as a key contributor to the Pacers’ success in Game 3.


Brunson, who had been a standout performer during the playoffs, encountered difficulties when matched up against Nesmith. Despite entering the game with concerns about a right foot injury. Brunson faced heightened pressure from the Pacers as he advanced the ball up the court.

This aggressive defensive approach disrupted Brunson’s rhythm, forcing him to navigate the court with more caution than in previous games. In a concerning moment during the first quarter, Brunson briefly exited the game after seemingly slipping and potentially aggravating his foot injury. This setback underscored the physical toll of playoff basketball and raised questions about Brunson’s ability to perform at his usual level amidst injury concerns.

In a departure from his usual sharpshooting, Brunson struggled to find his rhythm, shooting just 10-of-26 from the field, resulting in a less-than-efficient 26 points. The constraints of tighter spacing and potential limitations stemming from his foot injury likely contributed to Brunson’s subpar performance.

As a consequence of his struggles, the Knicks sorely missed Brunson’s trademark fourth-quarter heroics, managing just a dismal 4-of-19 shooting in the final 12 minutes of the game. This offensive downturn marked a stark contrast to the Pacers’ defensive prowess. Which notably tightened during this crucial stretch, showcasing their best defensive effort of the series.


Reflecting on his performance and the impact of his injury, Brunson maintained a resilient stance. “If I’m out there, I’m playing, and there’s no excuse whether I’m hurting or not. If I’m hurting, I’ll come out.” Despite grappling with physical discomfort, Brunson’s commitment to contributing to his team’s success remained unwavering.

It seemed like a night destined for Donte DiVincenzo to steal the spotlight once again, as he delivered one of the standout performances of his career. DiVincenzo showcased his scoring prowess by dropping an impressive 35 points, equalling a Knicks playoff record with seven successful 3-pointers.

However, despite his electrifying performance, DiVincenzo failed to register a basket in the final 11 minutes of the game. With Brunson also struggling to find his rhythm, the Knicks’ typically dominant clutch time execution faltered, ultimately succumbing to Nembhard’s game-winning shot.

“I was really proud of the way our guys persevered, continued to battle, maintained their focus, and made some crucial plays down the stretch,” commended Carlisle. “There are numerous things to take pride in from tonight’s performance, but it’s essential to remember that it’s just one game. We need to regroup swiftly and prepare for Sunday afternoon.”


Despite the disappointment of the loss, Carlisle emphasized the importance of maintaining composure and swiftly shifting focus to the next game in the series.