"Steal one, that's always an away team's dream", Kyrie Irving (20 points, 7 assists and 5 rebounds) said after an 84-74 win at home on Sunday. But sound play in the closing stages of the stanza resulted in the first finishing level at 20. Boston won by 10 points despite committing 17 turnovers to Indiana's 13.
#Pacers are halting all "Hoosier Hospitality" towards Stevens, Hayward & Boston ahead of Round 1.
The Celtics continued turning the ball over, though. It plagued them in the first half, but by the third quarter it was the Pacers who were turning it over.
PACERS TAKE CONTROLAfter an even first period, IN built a bit of a cushion out of the chute and made sure to maintain it. Barring some extremely unforeseen events, once the Celtics make it past IN, they will face the Milwaukee Bucks, who have the NBA's best record, best point differential and, most importantly, Giannis Antetokounmpo, the league's best and most valuable player. When the dust settled, Boston outscored IN 26-8 IN the period and led 64-53. It's hard to see the Pacers winning Game 2.
While the Raptors and Sixers failed to hold on to their home court advantage on Saturday, the Boston Celtics opened the 2109 NBA Playoffs in triumph at TD Garden. Horford missed a triple at the buzzer that would've brought the Celtics within four.
The Celtics' second half performance was not only dominant, but it showed the exact reason they could reasonably be expected to tear through the east at a moment's notice.
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He added that discussions couldn't be allowed to "drag on" for an extended period but continued to defend the prime minister's position.
When Bogdanovic was asked about the incident following Indiana's practice on Monday (Brad Stevens and the Celtics took the day off), he downplayed the incident as nothing more than what typically happens in the heat of a playoff battle.
Sour first half. Sweet second half. The C's 7-0 run to kick off the half was capped by an old-fashioned 3-pointer by Horford.
"We handled them pretty well in the first half, so it was their turn to make adjustments", said Darren Collison. The Celtics had scored 11 points during that time frame. Game 1 will give us a good look at the individual matchups that will define the series but, on paper, nearly all of them go in the Celtics favor.
IN fought back a little bit in the final minutes of the frame, but Terry Rozier put the Celts' lead at 11 just before the buzzer with an impressive 3-pointer.
Perhaps it was as simple as the 1 p.m. ET start time.