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Keys to the Game: Celtics 128, Pacers 123

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90's Night presented by Wellesly Mazda

Key Moment

With the Indiana Pacers in town Friday night, it was only fitting that the Boston Celtics played the role of the pace car throughout their matchup. Boston never trailed, but also never led by more than 10 points, as it stayed just enough in front of the Pacers to come away with a 128-123 win at TD Garden.

As the final lap approached late in the fourth quarter, Boston maintained its distance by matching Indiana shot for shot. The Pacers came within two points at the 5:31 mark, but Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown provided Boston with five straight points on a layup and an and-one jumper to extend its lead to 119-112.

Indiana cut the deficit back to three with 1:26 remaining, but Brown and Tatum helped the Celtics keep their distance yet again, as JB hit another pull-up jumper, and JT all but hammered the nail in the coffin with a cutting dunk at the 39-second mark.

Oshae Brissett gave his Pacers one last hope four seconds later by knocking down a last-ditch 3-pointer. However, Derrick White shut out Indy's light, responding right away with a driving layup for the game's final bucket.

Key Player

Jaylen Brown continued his streak of eight consecutive games with 25 or more points Friday night by dropping a game-high 32 into the scoring column against Indiana. He was on fire from the get-go, as he poured in 14 points during the first quarter alone while shooting 6-of-8 from the field.

Brown finished the night with a 12-of-18 shooting clip, including 2-of-5 from long distance. He also knocked down all six of his free-throw attempts.

On top of his game-high scoring mark, Brown logged team highs of seven assists and two steals to go along with three rebounds in 35 minutes of action.

In Boston's last eight games, Brown has averaged 28.9 points on 57.1 percent shooting from the field, including 51.2 percent from 3-point range.

Box Score Nuggets

  • Jaylen Brown led the game in scoring with 32 points, followed closely by Jayson Tatum's 31.
  • Brown also led the Celtics with seven assists and two steals.
  • Tyrese Haliburton logged 30 points for Indiana before fouling out with 8:13 left in the game.
  • Brown and Derrick White combined to shoot 14-for-14 from the free-throw line.
  • As a team, the Celtics shot 26-of-28 (92.9 percent) from the charity stripe.
  • Indiana shot 22-of-23 (95.7 percent) from the free-throw line.
  • Boston dished out 29 assists on 45 made field goals.
  • Both teams shot over 50 percent from the field – Boston at 54.2 percent and Indy at 51.9 percent.
  • Lance Stephenson handed out a game-high 11 assists off the bench.
  • The Celtics outscored the Pacers 62-46 inside the paint.
  • Boston never trailed, yet never led by more than 10 points.

Quote of the Night

Not every game is gonna be pretty, but we did enough to win.

Marcus Smart on the grind-it-out win