Keys to the Game
Key Moment
Key Player
Box Score Nuggets
Quote of the Night

Key Moment

The Boston Celtics on Friday marched into Bankers Life Fieldhouse and took it to the Indiana Pacers. With home-court advantage on the line for a nearly-guaranteed first-round matchup, the Celtics showed Indiana just how good they can be.

Boston led for the majority of the contest but really opened things up during the third period. An 11-point halftime lead expanded to as many as 18 points late in the third, thanks to a 12-3 run by the team’s bench.

And when we say by Boston’s bench, we mean entirely by Boston’s bench.

From the 4:30 mark of the third to the 2:22 mark, Celtics reserves accounted for six straight baskets for the team. Gordon Hayward (six points), Marcus Morris (four points) and Brad Wanamaker (two points) combined to score the 12 points.

Meanwhile, at the other end of the court, Boston limited the Pacers to only one field goal from the 5:15 mark of the third to the 1:21 mark.

It was a heck of a run at both ends of the court that put this game away and gave the Celtics a stranglehold on home-court advantage during the first round of the Playoffs. With Boston’s 117-97 victory, it now only needs to win one of its final two games of the season, or have Indiana lose one, to secure home court.

Key Player

Gordon Hayward was perfect Friday night.

No... really. He was literally perfect.

Hayward scored 21 points during Boston’s blowout win over the Pacers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. He did so by shooting a perfect 9-for-9 from the field and 3-for-3 from the free-throw line. He became the first member of the Celtics to score at least 20 points while not missing a shot since Kevin McHale in 1986.

A sign of Hayward’s continued growth is the fact that none of those makes came from beyond the 3-point arc. He relentlessly attacked the paint and made seven of his nine shots from inside the paint, many of which were made through contact from defenders.

"That's a lot of what I did in Utah," Hayward said of finishing in the paint. "Finishing in the lane there with different types of finishes: off one foot, two feet, fading back, leaning in, different things like that. So some of it's just kinda slowly coming back."

Hayward also contributed four rebounds, two assists and a steal during his 25-plus minutes of action.

Box Score Nuggets

  • Jayson Tatum scored a game-high 22 points.
  • Aron Baynes logged his third double-double in five games with a clean 11 points and a game-high 11 rebounds.
  • Indiana's leading scorer, Bojan Bogdanovic, scored only four points.
  • Gordon Hayward shot a perfect 9-for-9 while scoring 21 points.
  • Boston's largest lead was 25 points, while Indiana's was just three points.
  • Baynes also tied TJ Leaf for the game high in blocks with two.
  • The Celtics scored a combined 67 points during the second and third quarters.
  • Both teams committed 11 turnovers, and both teams scored 14 points off of those turnovers.
  • The C's made only seven 3-pointers.
  • Cory Joseph led the game with eight assists.
  • Boston outscored Indy by 23 points while Hayward was on the court, and by 20 points while Horford was on the court.

Quote of the Night

He'll have a lot of opportunities where he'll make plays for himself, but moreso for others.

Brad Stevens on Gordon Hayward

Key Player

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