Evidently, the Boston Celtics entered Wednesday evening’s recreation towards the Indiana Pacers hoping for a reversal of fortune. Losers of 4 out of their final 5 video games — together with consecutive residence losses to the Orlando Magic — there was some urgency constructing for the Celtics to rediscover their early-season success. However whereas an impressed second half put the sport inside attain, a depressing, lackadaisical begin that noticed Indiana rush forward by as many as 30 factors proved an excessive amount of to beat, and the Celtics misplaced their fifth recreation in six outings, 117-112.
Jayson Tatum shrugged off a tough first half to attain 41 factors on 13-of-25 taking pictures from the sector, however it typically felt like he was tasked with carrying all the crew shoulders. With the Celtics missing Marcus Sensible (non-Covid sickness), Jaylen Brown shot simply 8-of-23 and the Boston supporting forged — exterior of Malcolm Brogdon (18 factors) Sam Hauser (4-of-8, 10 factors) — struggled to make any influence. For Indiana, Tyrese Haliburton reasserted his All-Star case with a 33-point, 8-assist efficiency, whereas previous pal Aaron Nesmith tacked on 15 factors as a Pacers starter.
A fast begin from the Jays (11 factors within the early minutes) didn’t fend off Indiana for very lengthy. The Pacers began the sport taking pictures simply 1-for-9, however their mini-slump gave method to a frankly gorgeous 26-2 over almost six minutes of the primary quarter. Main the surge was the like All-Star Haliburton, who had his method with the Boston protection to the tune of 15 factors and 5 assists within the opening quarter. The Celtics regarded nearly fully listless getting into the second, trailing by 20 factors, 42-22.
The excellent news within the second quarter was that the Boston protection managed to stymy the Indiana offense way more successfully than within the first. The unhealthy information was… properly, nearly the whole lot else. They held the Pacers to “simply” 29 factors within the quarter, however managed simply 21 of their very own within the course of because the Indiana lead swelled near 30. The Celtics’ 34% taking pictures mark within the first half merely didn’t minimize it, and so they trailed the Pacers 71-43 on the halftime break.
As play started within the second half, Tatum lastly discovered his stride. After scoring simply 8 factors within the first half, he scored 15 within the third quarter and spurred a Celtics squad that lastly appeared to be reinvigorated. The supporting forged wakened alongside him, with Pritchard, Horford, Hauser and Brogdon cashing in on threes as a part of the surge. What was as soon as a nearly-30 level Indiana lead was burned down as little as 11. Hopes of a single-digit deficit getting into the fourth have been dashed, nevertheless, as Chris Duarte linked on his second quarter-ending buzzer-beater of the sport to place the Pacers forward 15, 100-85.
With the fourth quarter underway, the Celtics’ huge check grew to become whether or not they might lastly crack that single-digit barrier. Whereas they maintained one thing of an edge on the Pacers on the scoreboard, that threshold proved troublesome to realize. Down 11 with simply over six minutes to play, Tatum break up a pair of free throws, and moments later, he cashed in a three-pointer to carry Boston inside eight factors.
The Celtics would pull as shut as 5 factors, after Brown linked on a three-pointer with three minutes remaining in regulation, however sadly, that was so far as they might get. The shot-making of the Pacers, led by the tenacious playmaking of Haliburton, was only a bit an excessive amount of to deal with, and the comeback finally fell brief, as Indiana handed the Celtics their tenth lack of the season,
Subsequent up, the Celtics will host the uneven Minnesota Timberwolves at TD Backyard this Friday at 7:30 PM on NBC Sports activities Boston.