Keys to the Game: Pacers 99, Celtics 97
Box Score Nuggets
Quote of the Night
Victor Oladipo scored the game-winning points from the free-throw line Sunday night, but Indiana needed a bucket before those free throws to down the Celtics in Boston.
The score was knotted up at 95-95 with less than 30 seconds remaining, and Indiana pounded the ball in to 6-foot-11 big man Myles Turner on the right block. He caught the ball with 26.2 seconds left in the game and with 13 seconds left on the shot clock.
Marcus Morris, a 6-foot-9 forward, was the man who attempted to stop Turner on the block. He gave it a valiant effort, but it just wasn’t enough.
Turner powered his way into and through Morris with his right shoulder, and he used his height and length to easily release a right-handed layup off the glass that fell through the net with 21.0 seconds remaining.
Boston was placed at a disadvantage on the play after Daniel Theis, a versatile big man who is a strong defender, was forced to check out of the game prior Indiana’s possession. Theis was hit in the leg just moments before, which left him hobbling, and he would have been a liability had he remained on the court.
As a result, Boston had no one taller than Morris on the court for Indiana’s critical offensive possession, and Turner took advantage of that fact while positioning the Pacers for the win.
Oladipo’s free throws with 10.4 seconds left stood as the game-winning points because the Celtics scored a layup with 1.9 seconds left to make it a two-point game.
Marcus Smart was inserted into the starting lineup Sunday night in place of an injured Jaylen Brown. Smart sure looked like a starter during his nearly 36 minutes of playing time.
The energetic guard led Boston in four of the game’s top statistical categories, as he tallied 20 points, eight assists, seven rebounds and a game-high four steals.
Some fans would prefer to see Smart attempt more shots inside the 3-point arc than he does outside of it, but on this night, his 3-point shot was on the mark. Twelve of Smart’s 13 shots were attempted from long distance, and he connected on six of them for a 50.0 percent conversion rate. His six makes and 12 attempts were both game highs.
Without the services of Brown and Al Horford for the entire game, and without Kyrie Irving for the entire second half, the C’s needed someone to step up in order to have a chance to win this contest. Smart did exactly that with one of his best all-around performances of the season.
Box Score Nuggets
- Victor Oladipo scored a game-high 27 points.
- Myles Turner led the game with 10 rebounds and recorded the game's only double-double with his 19 points.
- Three Celtics scored at least 16 points, led by 20 from Marcus Smart.
- Smart recorded team highs with 20 points, eight assists, seven rebounds and four steals (also a game-high mark).
- The C's were outscored 46-26 in the paint.
- Both teams made 12 3-pointers.
- Boston shot 17-for-21 from the free-throw line, while Indiana shot 9-for-10.
- Turner blocked a game-high three shots.
- Darren Collison came off Indiana's bench and led the game with 10 assists.
- Boston shot just 42.0 percent from the field.
- Each of the 21 players who appeared in the game scored at least two points.
- Jayson Tatum stuffed the stat sheet with 19 points, five rebounds, three assists, two blocks and a steal.
- Greg Monroe tallied eight points, four rebounds, two assists and two blocks off of Boston's bench.
Quote of the Night
Hats off to our young guys. I thought they battled. They really battled today.
Brad Stevens on Boston's young players stepping up.