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Pacers steer course following Game 1 loss to Celtics

A tough Game 1 loss has not shaken Indiana's confidence entering Game 2.

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The Situation: With nine seconds left in Game 1 on Tuesday, the Pacers found themselves up three — staring at a potential series-opening win at TD Garden.

One turnover, one Jaylen Brown double bang, and 10 Jayson Tatum overtime points later, and the Celtics were celebrating.

  • The Sentiment: “It doesn’t prove anything,” Tatum said. “We won a big-time game. Series is far from over.”
  • “Our guys just need to keep fighting the way they fought in this game,” said Pacers coach Rick Carlisle. “And we’ll be back Thursday.”

The Stakes: The Pacers have been here before, having overcome Game 1 losses to the Bucks and Knicks in the first two rounds. And history says tonight’s Game 2 (8 ET, ESPN) may have a bigger impact on the series than Game 1.

  • Teams that lose Game 1 in the Conf./Division Finals are 29-105 all-time in the series (21.6% chance to win)
  • Teams that lose Games 1 & 2 in the Conf./Division Finals are 6-74 all-time in the series (7.5%)
  • Teams that tie the series 1-1 after trailing 0-1 in a Conf./Division Finals are 23-31 all-time in the series (42.6%)

Despite letting Tuesday's series opener slip through its fingers, Indiana has plenty to build on moving forward.

Indiana Takeaways: While Indy’s 21 turnovers proved costly — leading to 32 Boston points — the Pacers still nearly got the road win by excelling in several categories.

  • Assists: Although Indiana’s 21 giveaways were a team-high this postseason, the Pacers also tied their playoff-high with 38 assists
  • Shooting: The Pacers (53.5%) shot over 50% for the 9th time this postseason, matching the combined total of the other three conference finalists (3 each)
  • Comebacks: Indiana erased three double-digit deficits — one in each of the first three quarters — before taking the lead in the 4th
  • Balance: Tyrese Haliburton (25 pts, 10 ast), Pascal Siakam (24 pts, 12 reb) and Myles Turner (23 pts, 10 reb) all posted 20/10s, and four other Pacers scored 12+ points

No Panic: The Pacers’ optimism elevated them out of early holes against Milwaukee and New York, and they’re looking to do the same against Boston, who is 0-2 in Game 2s this postseason.

  • Pacer Pushback: After losing Game 1 to Milwaukee, Indiana won four of the next five to advance and then ousted the Knicks in seven games after going down 2-0
  • 🗣️ Haliburton: “What I will say is encouraging is that we’ve been trash in Game 1s… Today, we played great for about 47 minutes”
  • 🗣️ Turner: “You go back to the Milwaukee series; we lost that Game 1. You go back to the New York series; we lost that Game 1 in a close fashion as well. So, it’s definitely a long series”
  • 🗣️ Siakam: “As long as we continue to do us, we’ll be fine.”