When Indiana Pacers rookie Andrew Nembhard sank a 3-pointer over LeBron James to stun the Los Angeles Lakers 116-115 on Monday, the win seemed to galvanize the Pacers’ spirit. It gave Indiana its 12th victory of the season; only six teams have more wins than the Pacers as the 2022-23 season reaches its quarter pole.
Pacers center Myles Turner, whose missed 3-pointer was rebounded by Tyrese Haliburton to set up Nembhard cashing out on the dagger, celebrated the walk-off win.
Going into the Lakers game, Turner and his teammate Buddy Hield have been at the center of persistent trade rumblings and in trade discussions this offseason, with Turner addressing it head on at media day in September.
Just 24 hours earlier, the Pacers faced the Clippers, another team that could have the assets to acquire the 26-year-old Turner. I asked Pacers head coach Rick Carlisle how his team has stayed together despite trade chatter surrounding Turner and Hield.
“Both of them have set a tone of hard play, unselfishness and accountability in the locker room,” Carlisle told The Athletic. “I know we’re in L.A. I know there’s going to be questions about speculations of trades and stuff like that.”
Turner’s matchup with the Clippers was not successful Sunday, as the Pacers were on the wrong end of Ivica Zubac’s career day (31 points, 29 rebounds, three blocks) and a 114-100 Clippers win. After Sunday’s game, Turner spoke with The Athletic about what it’s like playing against teams like the Clippers and Lakers that may be interested in him.