Keys to the Game

Keys to the Game: Pacers 97, Celtics 91

Key Moment
Key Player
Box Score Nuggets
Quote of the Night

Key Moment

Indiana didn’t think it would need Victor Oladipo to come through in the clutch Friday night in Boston after it pulled ahead by as many as 26 points during the second quarter. But it did, and he delivered.

Somehow, Boston battled all the way back to take multiple leads during the final period, the last of which arrived when Kyrie Irving made two free throws with 4:01 remaining to put Boston ahead 85-84. The Celtics didn’t score again for another two-plus minutes, and during that span, Indiana rattled off a 7-0 run that was capped by four straight points from Oladipo.

Myles Turner began the spurt by slamming home a putback dunk, and Bojan Bogdonivic added a third point on a technical free throw. Those points gave Indiana an 87-85 lead, and Oladipo’s next four points put the game away.

The All-Star guard first secured a switch onto Al Horford and then took Horford off the dribble for a tough layup with 2:18 left in the game. Then, on Indiana’s next possession, Oladipo made the play of the night.

Oladipo ran another pick-and-roll and this time took the ball off the dribble with his right hand before splitting two defenders by spinning back over his right shoulder. He spun right between Marcus Morris and Irving before scooping in a layup off the glass with his right hand.

The clutch bucket, scored in true superstar fashion, provided Indiana with a six-point lead and that advantage never dropped to fewer than four points the rest of the night.

Oladipo is an All-Star this season for the very first time, and he sure looked like one Friday night.

Key Player

Victor Oladipo attempted a game-high 29 shots Friday night. The Pacers would have been fine if he took 40.

Oladipo was the best player on the court from start to finish, as he tallied a game-high 35 points against the Celtics. He made 15 of his 29 shot attempts in the game, and those 15 makes were seven more – nearly double – the next-highest total of eight (Kyrie Irving).

Guards don’t typically log double-doubles via points and rebounds but that’s exactly what Oladipo did against Boston. He grabbed 10 boards in addition to his 35 points. His rebounding total was two more than the highest number logged by any member of Boston’s squad (eight, Al Horford).

For good measure, the All-Star guard also turned in a game-high five steals to go along with two assists during Indiana’s win. He played nearly 37 of the game’s 48 minutes.

Box Score Nuggets

  • Victor Oladipo led the game with 35 points.
  • Oladipo also tallied 10 rebounds.
  • Oladipo and Thaddeus Young (14 rebounds, 13 points) logged the game's only double-doubles.
  • Kyrie Irving led Boston with 21 points.
  • Cory Joseph led the game with seven assists.
  • Terry Rozier scored 10 points despite shooting just 1-for-11 from the field.
  • The Celtics scored 34 points during the third quarter, but did not score more than 22 in any of the other three quarters.
  • Boston committed only 10 turnovers.
  • Indiana led by as many as 26 points, but the Celtics battled back to take multiple leads during the fourth quarter.
  • Oladipo grabbed a game-high five steals, matching Boston's team total.
  • The teams combined to hit only 12 3-pointers (seven by Boston, five by Indiana).
  • Joseph started and played more than 34 minutes but did not score a point.
  • Rozier led the game with a 7-for-8 performance from the free-throw line.

Quote of the Night

I thought we started the game really going through the motions. And I thought they started the game really playing with great force and purpose.

Brad Stevens on Boston's ugly first-half performance.

Key Player