Jayson Tatum and Sam Hauser slap hands during a win over Indiana

Keys to the Game: Celtics 120, Pacers 95

Marc D'Amico
Team Reporter and Analyst

Key Moment

There was no road trip-hangover for the Boston Celtics on Friday night. They came out and dominated Indiana for the majority of their matchup, and in particular, during the second half.

Boston wasted no time turning what was a five-point halftime lead into a blowout. After Indiana scored the first two points of the third quarter, the Celtics responded with an 11-0 run in a span of only 72 seconds to take complete control of the game, at 71-57.

Jaylen Brown was at the center of the game-changing run. He scored seven of the 11 points, and he did so in a variety of ways. First, he converted on two free throw attempts. Then he canned a 3-pointer. Lastly, he ended the run with a driving layup.

Jayson Tatum and Marcus Smart scored the other four points during Boston’s spurt.

The C’s would only add to their lead as the remainder of the night unfolded. They continued to play at a high level at both ends while extending their lead to as many as 29 points before closing out a 120-95 victory.

Key Player

Jayson Tatum applied pressure to the defense from the start to the end of Friday’s matchup. That pressure led to him scoring a game-high 34 points, including 20 at the rim.

That’s right, Tatum got to the rack for 10 made field goals against the Pacers. He shot 10-of-14 at the basket, and 13-for-24 overall.

To round out his box score, Tatum also tallied seven rebounds, two assists and two steals during 32-plus minutes of playing time. Boston outscored Indiana by 23 points while he was on the floor to mark the game’s top plus/minus rating.

Box Score Nuggets

  • Boston dominated the game while only four of its players scored in double-figures.
  • Jayson Tatum led the game with 34 points.
  • All five of Boston's starters finished with a plus/minus rating between plus-11 and plus-23.
  • Indiana scored 38 points in the paint during the first half, but only 18 during the second half.
  • Jaylen Brown totaled 27 points, seven rebounds and four assists.
  • Four of Boston's five starters tallied at least four assists, led by nine from Derrick White.
  • White also scored 22 points
  • Sam Hauser made three of his four triples for nine points off the bench, to go along with five boards.
  • Grant Williams scored 12 points off the bench to go along with six boards.
  • Rob Williams blocked three shots and grabbed three steals in just 15-plus minutes of action.
  • Myles Turner and Tyrese Haliburton tied for Indiana's top scoring effort with 20 points apiece.
  • Boston limited Indiana to just 15.4 percent shooting from long distance (4-for-26).
  • All 11 Celtics who checked into the game finished with a positive plus/minus rating.

Quote of the Night

"Yeah, it favors me this year, so yeah. But I mean they do that in any other sport: most home runs, most passing yards. So there should be some award for most points scored. Maybe next year."

- Jayson Tatum responds with a smile to NBCSB's Abby Chin asking about whether the scoring title should be decided by most total points instead of scoring average