INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Tyrese Haliburton scored 23 points, and the Indiana Pacers routed the San Antonio Spurs 152-111 on Monday night for coach Rick Carlisle’s 900th career victory.
Carlisle, second among active coaches in wins, beat the all-time leader, active or otherwise, in Hall of Fame coach Gregg Popovich, who has 1,369 victories, all with the Spurs.
“I told Pop after the game that I’m very grateful for him,” Carlisle said. “He was a mentor to me before I got a head coaching job. When I was here as an assistant, I didn’t get the job after Larry (Brown) left. Pop called me up and invited me to come down to San Antonio’s training camp. … It was a big confidence-builder for me. He’s been wonderful to so many young coaches.”
“I did congratulate him,” Popovich said.
The Pacers won in style, tying a team record for most points in a game. Then players doused their coach with water in the locker room.
“I wouldn’t call it pouring,” Carlisle said with a grin. “It just came from every direction.”
Haliburton, who also had eight assists, was one of six Pacers in double figures. Obi Toppin and Buddy Hield each scored 19.
“The ball was just moving well,” Haliburton said. “We were putting good energy in the ball. We were just playing the right way, getting enough stops, which allowed us to play in transition.”
Myles Turner had 15 points and 11 rebounds for the Pacers, who had their biggest lead at 39 points late in the third quarter.
Spurs rookie sensation Victor Wembanyama had his worst shooting night in his first back-to-back, going 3 of 12 and finishing with 13 points and 10 rebounds.
Reserve Doug McDermott scored 17 points to lead the Spurs, who lost at home to Toronto a night earlier.
Carlisle has 245 wins over two stints with the Pacers and 555 in 13 seasons with Dallas, where he won his only championship as a head coach in 2011. The 64-year-old also won 100 games in Detroit.
“Congrats to him,” said McDermott, who played for Carlisle the past two seasons. “I wish it wasn’t against us in that fashion. But he deserves the praise. He’s a hell of a coach.”
San Antonio was lethargic from the outset. The Pacers tied a franchise record for most first-half points in taking an 86-61 lead at the break.
Indiana sank 14 3-pointers in the first half and finished 20 of 38. San Antonio was 8 of 26.
The Pacers won handily two nights after setting a team record with 12 3-pointers in a 50-point third quarter, but in a 125-124 loss at home to Charlotte.
Spurs: Host Minnesota on Wednesday.
Pacers: Host Utah on Wednesday.
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