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Spurs hold off final-minute flurry to beat Pacers 137-134

Spurs hold off final-minute flurry to beat Pacers 137-134

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Josh Richardson scored 27 points and Devin Vassell and Keldon Johnson each had 23 as the San Antonio Spurs survived a frantic final minute flurry and beat the Indiana Pacers 137-134 on Friday night.

Indiana was led by Tyrese Haliburton's 27 points and 12 assists. Rookie Bennedict Mathurin scored 26 points, and his attempt to force overtime with a 3-point shot at the buzzer was an airball.

The Pacers have not led in either of their games this season after finishing last season with 10 consecutive losses. Their last win came March 20.

Jakob Poeltl finished with 21 points, eight rebounds and five assists for the Spurs.

The game featured two of the NBA's most successful coaches — Gregg Popovich and Rick Carlisle, who started the night with a combined 2,205 career wins. But with two of the league's youngest teams, it wasn't pretty.

San Antonio, which never trailed, led by double figures most of the game after taking an early 36-26 lead and appeared to be taking control by extending its lead to 70-55 at halftime.

Instead, a series of miscues in the final minute of regulation allowed Indiana to make it a one-possession game when Haliburton made three free throws with 23.5 seconds to go. Indiana forced a turnover on the Spurs' ensuing possession, and instead of passing for a 3-pointer on the fast break, Haliburton drove to the basket for a layup to make it 135-134 with 3.8 seconds left.

San Antonio closed it out with two free throws and the defensive stop.

TIP-INS

Spurs: San Antonio shot 54.3% from the field. ... Since Popovich took over as coach early in the 1996-97 season, the Spurs have lost their first two games in a season once — when they started 0-3 in 2008-09. They finished 54-28.

Pacers: Isaiah Jackson had 16 points and six rebounds, and Buddy Hield had 13 points. ... Myles Turner missed his second straight game with a sprained left ankle. Turner is expected to miss at least a week. ... Rookie Andrew Nembhard, a second-round pick, scored 14 points in his debut.

UP NEXT

Spurs: Make their second stop on a four-game trip Saturday at Philadelphia.

Pacers: Host Detroit on Saturday before starting a five-game trip.

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