(INDIANAPOLIS, IN) – The Indiana Pacers (26-35) and Boston Celtics (43-17) begin their final 20+ game stretch of the season after the All-Star break with a playoff like game where the Celtics defeat the Pacers 142-138 in overtime.
The opening quarter would be a nice preview of what would game the next three quarters, plus an overtime period. Indiana quickly jumped ahead 8-2 after a triple from Myles Turner and Buddy Hield with a nice two-point shot from Andrew Nembhard sandwiched between. Boston would take the lead minutes later and then Indiana was steadily down between two to four points, but the Celtics went on a small run to go ahead 26-17. They were trailing by six with the ball in the hands of Chris Duarte in the final seconds of the quarter and nailed a three as time expired to trail 34-31 after twelve minutes.
Quarter number two would be the quarter that the Pacers would struggle the most. Boston would outscore Indiana in the quarter 34-27 because the Pacers could not take care of the basketball. Indiana turned the ball over six times in the quarter compared to the two turnovers for the Celtics. It allowed the best team (by record) in the NBA to go ahead by 16 points at 62-46 with 3:18 to go. The main scorer during that stretch for the Celtics was the former Pacer guard Malcolm Brogdon. He scored ten points in the quarter with Jaylen Brown complimenting Brogdon with nine points. After 24-minutes of basketball, Boston led 68-58. Myles Turner and Brown each had 15 points to lead their teams. Derrick White and Brogdon came off the bench and each had 13.
Shooting clinic. That’s what someone would tell you in two words on how to summarize the third quarter. Indiana came out of the locker room and simply could not miss. In the quarter, they converted EIGHT of their fourteen three-point shots. That matched their entire total in the first half. The sharpshooting guard in Buddy Hield provided three of those along with another three from Turner. Indiana opened the second half with an 11-2 run that took just over two minutes to cut their deficit to 70-69. Coming out of Boston’s timeout, they’d get a stop on the defensive end and then Tyrese Haliburton would score on a step-back two-point shot that gave the team their first lead since it was 10-7. The hot shooting for Indiana would continue and they would go ahead by four points at 80-76. After three quarters of play though, the Pacers would still trail the Celtics 100-97. After being quiet in the first half, Jayson Tatum got going in the quarter by scoring nine points. Turner led all scorers in the quarter with 13 and Hield registered 11 for Indiana.
The third quarter started to feel like a playoff game because of the 16,125 fans that were in attendance were on their feet cheering for their favorite team. Tatum would be one of four scorers in the quarter for the Celtics. Indiana had seven different players score in the quarter. The guy who really supplied the scoring early was rookie Bennedict Mathurin six points, but it was Turner during the middle part of the quarter when the offense stalled that kept the Pacers in the game. The game would be tied a total of five times in the period and exchanged six times. Boston did pull ahead by nine points with 9:06 to go, but the Pacers quickly erased the deficit and tied the game at 111 with a three from Turner. Boston would go ahead 124-120 with 3:11 to go and be held to one point the rest of the way. They game would be tied at 125 with 1:41 remaining in regulation, but neither team could get the ball through the hoop the rest of the way.
The overtime period would start with the Pacers taking a three-point lead with Mathurin drilling a three after the two teams scored two points. Boston quickly turned that three-point deficit into a three-point advantage. Must like the previous two quarters, Indiana would not go away and tie the game up at 133 and then again at 138. However, Tatum would convert a pair of free throws to go ahead 140-138 and then followed it up with a tip-in shot to go ahead 142-138 to put the nail in the coffin. With ten seconds to go, Haliburton had to throw up a prayer and couldn’t get the shot to fall as the Pacers lose 142-138.
TOP PERFORMERS: Jayson Tatum (31p, 12r, 7a, 2s), Jaylen Brown (30p, 11r, 3a), Malcolm Brogdon (24p, 7a, 5r, 2s), Myles Turner (40p, 8 threes, 10r), Tyrese Haliburton (22p, 14a, 3s, 2b), Bennedict Mathurin (19p, 7r, 4a, 2s), and Buddy Hield (18p, 5r). For tonight’s full box score, click here.
NOTES: Myles Turner 40 points ties a career high, 8 three-pointers are a single game career high, first center in the NBA with 40+ points, 10+ rebounds, and 8+ threes, and notched his 18th double-double on the season. Jayson Tatum registered his 33rdr game with 30+ points and 23rd double-double. Jaylen Brown recorded his 9th double-double on the season and 16th game with 30+ points. Tyrese Haliburton now has 27 double-doubles on the season and 29th game with 10+ assists.
NEXT UP: The Pacers begin a four-game road trip starting in Orlando and finish it next Sunday in Chicago. 11 of the next 14 games will be on the road for Indiana. Tip-off on Saturday against the Magic is slated for 7pm with the Kroger Pregame Show with Pat Boylan starting at 6:30pm on 93.5/107.5 The Fan.
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