Keys to the Game

Keys to the Game: Celtics 108, Pacers 98

Key Moment
Key Player
Box Score Nuggets
Quote of the Night

Key Moment

The Boston Celtics exited halftime Saturday night in need of an offensive spark, after the Indiana Pacers – owners of a nine-point advantage at the time – had held them to just 18 points during the second quarter.

So, the C’s called on ol’ reliable – Al Horford. And he answered by keying the team’s highest-scoring third quarter of the season.

Horford had a hand in 19 of Boston’s 37 points during the third frame, scoring 12 points of his own while assisting on seven more. Indiana, meanwhile, was held to just 16 points during that same span.

Horford’s biggest contributions came during a four-minute, 18-4 run that saw the Celtics turn a 62-57 deficit into a 75-66 lead. He scored or assisted on Boston’s first four field goals during that stretch, while helping the C’s limit the Pacers to just one field goal make over a span of five minutes and 15 seconds.

By the end of the third quarter, the C’s were able to flip their nine-point halftime deficit into a 12-point lead, and from there they coasted to a 108-98 win at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

Key Player

The Boston Celtics have relied heavily on Marcus Smart's defense this season. Saturday night in Indianapolis, they needed him to be a force on the offensive end as well.

With Jaylen Brown out of the lineup due to personal reasons, coach Brad Stevens inserted Smart into the starting lineup, and the tenacious guard responded by putting forth his best shooting performance of the season.

Smart, who entered the game shooting 26.5 percent from the field, knocked down seven of his eight shot attempts for 15 points, nearly equalling Brown's scoring average of 15.9 points per game.

The confident guard also contributed in other areas, as he corralled a team-high six rebounds, dished out five assists, tied for a team high with two steals and also tied for a team-best plus-12 rating.

Smart's all-around effort, highlighted by his efficient shooting from the field, was the difference, as the Celtics were able to overcome the absence of Brown with a 10-point victory.

Box Score Nuggets

  • Kyrie Irving (25 points) and Al Horford (21 points) were the game's only 20-point scorers.
  • Both benches scored 31 points, with 17 points apiece from Terry Rozier and Domantas Sabonis.
  • It marked Rozier's second straight game of scoring 17-plus points, after never logging more than 16 points in a game.
  • Al Horford's three blocked shots accounted for one more block than Indiana recorded as a team.
  • Darren Collison snagged four steals, which was twice the total of any other player in the game.
  • Only one free throw was missed between the two teams. Indiana went 15-of-15 from the line and Boston shot 8-of-9.
  • Marcus Smart led the game with six assists.
  • Lance Stephenson corralled a game-high eight rebounds.
  • Boston edged Indiana with a 42-40 scoring advantage in the paint.
  • Sabonis corralled five offensive rebounds. Boston brought down just four offensive boards as a team.
  • The C's shot 70.3 percent from the field during the second half, after shooting 44.2 percent during the first half.
  • The Pacers shot 9.1 percent from 3-point range during the second half after shooting 50 percent from 3 during the first half.

Quote of the Night

Al plays with a sense of urgency and we all just feed off of it. It’s good for us young guys to see that.

Terry Rozier on Al Horford's contributions.

Key Player