Tyrese Haliburton was forced to leave Thursday's Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals early with a left leg injury.

The Indiana Pacers star was subbed out with 3:44 remaining in the third quarter after tweaking his left leg while guarding Jayson Tatum in pick-and-roll, the Boston Celtics again leading his team by double-digits. Shortly thereafter, the Pacers announced on social media that Haliburton was suffering from left leg soreness and would not return.

Haliburton was seen at halftime “shaking his head” and “slamming the ball on the floor in frustration,” according to Jared Weiss of The Athletic, the ostensible result of him feeling discomfort in his left leg. He finished with 10 points, four rebounds and eight assists on 4-of-8 shooting, with Indiana outscoring Boston by one during his 28 minutes. The Celtics won Game 2 126-110, taking a 2-0 lead in the series. Haliburton was targeted defensively early and often by Joe Mazzulla's team, offering little resistance in help and at the point of attack.

The Third Team All-NBA selection suffered a strained left hamstring in early January, causing him to miss three weeks of action. Haliburton struggled to regain his stellar prior form upon returning to the floor, admitting he hurried back to meet the NBA's “stupid” minimum threshold for awards consideration of 65 games—and the financial bump in his designated rookie contract extension triggered by those individual honors, including making All-NBA.

It is unclear if Tyrese Haliburton's current left leg soreness is related to his previous hamstring injury. He's played his best basketball since initially going down a few months ago in the playoffs, though, recently getting back to the dominant scoring and playmaking form that made him a trendy early-season MVP candidate while spearheading Indiana's underdog run to the Eastern Conference Finals.

Celtics take down Pacers for commanding 2-0 lead

Indiana Pacers guard Tyrese Haliburton (0) reacts against the Boston Celtics in the first half during game two of the eastern conference finals for the 2024 NBA playoffs at TD Garden
David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

After the Pacers gifted them the opener, the Celtics head to Indianapolis for Saturday's Game 3 with a commanding 2-0 lead in the series.

Jaylen Brown had it going from the opening tip on Thursday, living at the rim while also splashing an array of tough, contested jumpers en route to a game-high 40 points on 14-of-27 shooting. Tatum shook off early labors to match Jrue Holiday's 23 points for Boston, which shot 53.4% overall and 15-of-37 (40.7%) from deep while racking up a gaudy 134.0 offensive rating, its highest mark of the postseason.

Pascal Siakam scored a team-high 28 points on 13-of-17 shooting, willing Indiana back from a double-digit hole late in the second quarter to cut its halftime deficit to six. Myles Turner came back to earth after an eye-opening Game 1, picking up early foul trouble then never finding a rhythm while finishing with just eight points on seven shots.

The Celtics had just gone up 82-71 on an Oshae Brissett layup when Tyrese Haliburton left with a few minutes left in the third quarter. Rick Carlisle clearly knew early in the final stanza that the Pacers' hopes of evening the series were dashed with Haliburton sidelined. Turner didn't play at all in the fourth quarter, and Siakam exited for good with 9:25 remaining, Indiana trailing 99-82. The Pacers never got closer than 13 points from there.

Game 3 tips off on Saturday at 8:30 (EST) from Gainsbridge Fieldhouse in downtown Indianapolis.