The Indiana Pacers advanced to the Eastern Conference finals for the first time in a decade with a 130-109 victory over the New York Knicks on Sunday. Their historic shooting performance in the first half played a crucial role in the win.

Tyrese Haliburton led the Pacers with 26 points. The team made 29 of their 38 shots in the first half, achieving a shooting percentage of 76.3%, the highest in the postseason since 1997 when detailed play-by-play stats for all four quarters began being kept. The Pacers led 70-55 at halftime and maintained their lead despite multiple attempts by the Knicks to close the gap in the second half.

The sixth-seeded Pacers set an NBA playoff record by finishing the game with a 67.1% shooting percentage. They will now face the top-seeded Boston Celtics in a series starting Tuesday. Indiana last reached the conference finals in 2014, where they lost to the Miami Heat.

The Knicks, who were aiming for their first conference finals appearance since 2000, faced numerous injuries. Jalen Brunson left in the second half with a broken left hand, adding to a list of injuries that included Julius Randle, Mitchell Robinson, and Bojan Bogdanovic. Despite returning to the game, OG Anunoby was clearly not at full strength and was taken out after five minutes.

Pascal Siakam and Andrew Nembhard each scored 20 points for Indiana, while Aaron Nesmith went 8 for 8, contributing 19 points. Donte DiVincenzo led the Knicks with 39 points, including nine 3-pointers, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the Pacers’ offensive onslaught. Alec Burks added 26 points off the bench.

The game marked the third Game 7 between these franchises. The Knicks won in the 1994 Eastern Conference finals and the Pacers won the following year in the East semifinals. The Pacers showcased their league-leading offense, which averaged 123.3 points per game this season.

Indiana’s 39-point first quarter was the most in a Game 7 since the play-by-play era began, reflecting their explosive offense. They made 10 of their first 11 shots and maintained a high shooting percentage throughout the half. Knicks fans, initially enthusiastic, were left dismayed as the Pacers consistently scored despite solid defense.

Leading 39-27 after the first quarter and shooting 16 for 21 from the field (76.2%) and 7 for 9 from 3-point range (77.8%), the Pacers extended their lead by halftime. The Knicks reduced the gap to 70-55 by halftime and started the second half strong, but a series of turnovers allowed Indiana to pull away again.

Josh Hart, playing through an abdominal strain, fouled out with 10 points and eight rebounds for the Knicks. Despite their efforts, the Knicks couldn’t overcome the Pacers’ historic shooting night.