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Pacers rule out Tyrese Haliburton for Game 3 vs. Celtics

INDIANAPOLIS -- Tyrese Haliburton will not play for the Indiana Pacers in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals against Boston on Saturday night because of an injured left hamstring.

He left in the third quarter of the Pacers' Game 2 loss and did not return. Pacers coach Rick Carlisle said the All-NBA guard wanted to play but the doctors would not clear him. 

The Pacers already faced a long road back from a 2-0 deficit and now must overcome the loss of their top player to try to climb back into the series.

Haliburton led the NBA in assists this season despite missing 10 games, also with an injured left hamstring. It remains unclear whether Haliburton can return for Game 4 on Monday night in Indianapolis, where the Pacers are 6-0 in this season's playoffs.

"Tyrese very much wants to play," Carlisle said ahead of Saturday night's Game 3 in Indianapolis. "He desperately wants to play. But the decision on tonight was taken out of his hands earlier in the day. It was determined that tonight was not an option. He is feeling better; we'll see where he is on Monday."

Boston had already ruled out center Kristaps Porzingis with a strained right calf, though there is hope that the All-Star center can return to action Monday night. Backup center Luke Kornet was also ruled out for Game 3 with a wrist injury.

Celtics starting point guard Jrue Holiday was questionable for much of the day Saturday with an illness, but went through the pre-game shootaround and has been upgraded to "available" for Boston.

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