Some wild things are happening the NBA bubble.
A day after James Harden scored 49 points on 20 shots, Indiana Pacers forward T.J. Warren took things even further with an out-of-nowhere 53-point performance in a 127-121 win over the Philadelphia 76ers.
Warren finished 20-of-29 from the field (9-of-12 from 3-point range) with four rebounds, three assists and just one turnover. His best bucket might have been his last, a contested 3-point dagger to put the Sixers away.
T.J. Warren buries the Sixers
Warren’s previous career high in points had been 40, set in 2017. He rewrote the Indiana record books along the way on Saturday, plus some bubble records if that’s something you care about.
Pretty good for a player the Pacers acquired basically as a salary dump from the Phoenix Suns last summer.
All of that was enough to lift the Pacers over the Sixers despite the absences of starters Malcolm Brogdon and Domantas Sabonis. Brogdon was out of the game with neck soreness, while Sabonis had to exit the bubble with a significant foot injury.
The Pacers did have Victor Oladipo on hand after the All-Star walked back his announcement he would skip the bubble. Oladipo finished with 15 points (6-of-14 from the field), seven rebounds and two assists in what should have been a winnable game for Philadelphia.
The win breaks a tie between the 40-26 Pacers and 39-27 Sixers for the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference.
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