The Indiana Pacers went from being one loss away against the New York Knicks in the second round of the NBA Playoffs to pulling off an upset in a seven-game classic. Pacers star Tyrese Haliburton quipped the key to their success in the series that pushed them over the hump.

New York was a game shy of their first Eastern Conference finals berth since 2000 after securing a rousing 121-91 home victory in Game 5. The Pacers then leaned on the all-around brilliance of Haliburton, with a little help from a better health situation, to overcome the no. 2 seed in the final two games of the series.

Tyrese Haliburton points to reserves as key to Pacers comeback over Knicks

Indiana Pacers guard Tyrese Haliburton (0) vs New York Knicks
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

In the postgame presser, Tyrese Haliburton commended the Pacers bench for stepping up in the two biggest games of the series.

“Our depth…we have the best bench in the NBA,” Haliburton said in recognition of his second- and third-string teammates.

In the presser, Haliburton also trolled the Knicks by wearing a sweatshirt depicting Pacers great Reggie Miller's choke gesture in the 1994 Playoffs, also against the Knicks.

During Game 6, the Pacers' bench led by TJ McConnell and former Knick Obi Toppin combined for 26 points off the bench to aid in the 116-103 home win to extend the series to a rubber match. The Pacers bench outscored the Knicks bench, 36-26.

A balanced scoring streak from the starting unit set the trend in Game 7 early, in contrast to the bench-led attack in Game 6.

Haliburton went on a tear in the first quarter, scoring 14 of his game total 26 in the first 12 minutes of play. He went on to shoot 10-for-17 from the field, including six makes from beyond the three-point line, to go along with four rebounds, and six assists.

The Pacers romped the Knicks at Madison Square Garden, 130-109, in a lopsided affair. The lead changed hands three times and tied once during the game, all in the first quarter. The Knicks trailed by as much as 23 points in the second half, with the game already out of hand.

Even more impressive was the Pacers' efficient shooting during the game, making 67.1% of their field goals and set the highest shooting percentage in NBA Playoffs history.

Crumbling Knicks health also played huge role in Pacers' series win

Aside from Haliburton's assertion that the Pacers bench was superior, the Knicks were simply defeated by their thinning rotation with majority of their key guys down with injuries. Forward Julius Randle was ruled out for the season with a shoulder injury, with Mitchell Robinson, and Bogdan Bogdanovic also going down with separate ailments.

Then, in Game 6, Josh Hart went down with an abdominal strain that he subsequently played through in the Game 7 loss. Jalen Brunson then suffered a fractured hand late in the series finale, which doomed the Knicks in the end.

Following the second round exit, Knicks fans have placed the blame on Tom Thibodeau, the team's head coach who they say is responsible for putting through extensive minutes on the team's key guys, leading to injuries caused by wear and tear.