Unheralded Indiana Pacers star lights up the NBA

Just when we all thought 2020 couldn’t get any weirder, Indiana Pacers player T.J. Warren explodes to drop the first 50 point game inside the NBA bubble.

Warren helped lead the Pacers to a big time 127-121 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday morning as he scored 53 points.

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The Pacers forward has never finished a season with a scoring average over 20 points per game, but against the Sixers he shot the lights out.

From the opening tip right down to the final buzzer, Warren had the hot hand for the Pacers and entered the Indiana record books on several fronts.

His 53 points saw him shoot an electric 20-29 from the field which included going 9-12 from beyond the arc.

The 20 field goal attempts ties a Pacers single-game record, his nine three-pointers also ties the single-game record. His 53 points is the third-most in Pacers history, behind Jermaine O’Neal (55) and Reggie Miller (57).

TJ Warren (53 PTS & 9 3PM) dropped a career-high against Philly 😱 pic.twitter.com/7lhzYN9eJc

Warren joined the Pacers ahead of the 2020 season after being traded by the Phoenix Suns for cash considerations.

The Sixers big three didn’t exactly have off nights either, Joel Embiid ended with 41 points and 21 rebounds, Tobias Harris had 30 points and 8 rebounds and Ben Simmons finished with 19 points and 13 rebounds.

But it mattered little as Warren buried shot after shot before driving home the final nail in the coffin with 10 seconds to go.

“Just doing what I do best — just putting the ball in the hole. I just wanted to lead the team offensively,” Warren said after the game.

The win takes the Pacers to 41-26 on the season and extends their lead over the Sixers who sit in sixth spot with a 39-28 record. As the standings currently sit, the Pacers would take on the Miami Heat in the first round while the Sixers would line-up against the Boston Celtics.

Social media couldn’t believe what they were watching unfold as Warren somehow turned into Steph Curry against the Sixers.

“TJ Warren’s evolution is wild. He shot only two 3s per game in college, his offense was mostly all mid-range & floaters. Didn’t attempt over two 3s per game until last year. He’s 40% from 3 since. Few guys can extend their range so well, yet here we are: 53 points in a Pacers win,” The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor tweeted.

“TJ Warren went crazy on the Sixers tonight,” pro basketball player Ronald Moore tweeted.

“TJ Warren just fried Ben Simmons the whole game,” NBA 2K player Colt wrote.

regular tj warren vs tj warren tonight pic.twitter.com/HchTqD2Sy8

Pacers bench loving TJ Warren's deep 3 to give him 53. pic.twitter.com/r5kSwvKgGx

With seven more games before the NBA Playoffs commence, the Sixers will be looking to fix their problems defensively.

After entering the fourth quarter with a six-point lead, the Sixers surrendered 46 points in the fourth quarter as the Pacers ran away with the win.

They’ll return to the court on Tuesday morning when they take on the San Antonio Spurs at 10am (AEST). The Pacers will be back in action as well on Tuesday at 6am against the Washington Wizards.

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