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BOSTON, MA - NOVEMBER 1: Obi Toppin #1 of the Indiana Pacers drives to the basket during the game against the Boston Celtics on November 1, 2023 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2023 NBAE (Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images)

Game Rewind: Pacers 104, Celtics 155

Wednesday, Nov. 1 at 7:30 PM ET at TD Garden

Game Recap: Celtics 155, Pacers 104

Game Rewind

The first game of November will be one the Indiana Pacers don’t want to remember.

Indiana (2-2) fell behind to the Boston Celtics (4-0) by double digits early, trailed by 21 points at halftime, and were outscored 80-50 in the second half in a 155-104 loss at TD Garden on Wednesday.

The Pacers have never lost by more points to the Celtics, and the 51-point loss is the second-worst margin ever for the Blue & Gold. The worst loss in Pacers history was by 59 points to Golden State in 1977.

The Pacers have now lost two straight games, while the Celtics remain the only undefeated team in the Eastern Conference.

“(Boston) played great, but we allowed them to play as great as they played,” Pacers head coach Rick Carlisle said. “I’ll take the blame for this. This is on me. I didn’t have our guys ready to compete at the level they needed to compete at. This is an embarrassing result, obviously, and not acceptable for what we’re trying to do here.”

Indiana played without All-Star point guard Tyrese Haliburton in the matchup, who was a late scratch due to a right ankle sprain. Pacers backup center Jalen Smith also sat out, but with a left knee sprain.

Overall, Boston shot 56.8 percent from the field, including 57.1 percent from 3-point (20-for-35 shots from deep), and 27-for-28 from the free throw line. Indiana made 45.5 percent of its shots, struggling from 3-point (5-for-37), while making 7-of-12 free throws.

Seven Celtics players scored in double figures, and all 13 players that took the floor for Boston finished with points.

Boston’s starters played just three quarters, and were led by 30 points (9-for-15 field goal) and 12 rebounds from All-Star forward Jayson Tatum. Derrick White was next for Boston with 18 points, Jaylen Brown logged 16 points and seven boards, and point guard Jrue Holiday totaled 15 points and seven rebounds. Sam Hauser (17 points) and Payton Pritchard (15 points) both had big nights off the bench for the Celtics.

For the Pacers, T.J. McConnell led the way with 18 points, seven reboudns and five assists, Andrew Nembhard had 14 points, and Obi Toppin scored 11 points.

In the first quarter, the Celtics shot an outstanding 16-for-21 (76.2 percent) from the field, including 8-for-11 from 3-point (72.7 percent), to go up 44-27.  Indiana shot a solid 52 percent overall in the first quarter, but didn’t make any of their seven 3-point attempts.

Boston came out hot to start the game, making its first five shots.

Off the tip, the teams traded baskets until the Celtics strung together 13 straight unanswered points – which included consecutive 3-pointers from White, Tatum and Holiday – to go up 18-6 with 8:14  left in the first quarter.

Back-to-back baskets by Pacers center Myles Turner sparked a 12-6 Blue & Gold run midway through the frame to narrow the deficit to six points, but the Celtics closed the final 3:21 of the period on a 16-6 run.

Boston used a pair of 6-2 run to continue building onto its advantage to start the second quarter, and led 58-38 with 7:11 left in the half.

By halftime, the Celtics lead had grown to 75-54.

The Pacers missed their first six shots of the third quarter, and the Celtics took advantage again by going on a 12-2 spree go up by 32 with 8:53 left in the third quarter. In the final 3:16 of the frame the Celtics finished on a 9-2 run to lead 109-71 going into the fourth.

Boston played its bench the entirety of the fourth quarter, and the Pacers mostly did the same. The Celitcs outscored the Pacers 46-33 in the final 12 minutes.

“They’re got a great roster,” Carlisle said of the Celtics. “They’ll be a team in the conversation for the championship, obviously. We just have to do better – It’s as simple as that.”

The Pacers kick off a five-game homestand Friday when they play their first-ever game of the inaugural In-Season Tournament. The game, against the Cleveland Cavaliers, will be played on a new court designed specifically for IST play.

Indiana Pacers Postgame Media Availability (at Boston Celtics) | November 1, 2023

Inside the Numbers

Pacers rookies Jarace Walker (8 points) and Ben Sheppard (6 points) both scored the first points of their NBA careers on Wednesday. Walker also had three assists and a rebound and Sheppard logged two points and two rebounds.

Indiana shot 5-for-37 from 3-point while Boston finished 20-for-35.

The Pacers outscored the Celtics in the paint 80-52.

Indiana was outrebounded 57-31.

The Pacers won the turnover margin 9-11.

Indiana matched a season-low 26 assists as a team and the Celtics had 27.

Stat of the Night

Indiana shot a season-worst 5-for-37 from 3-point range.

Noteworthy

  • Tyrese Haliburton missed his first game of the season due to injury. He’s currently averaging a double-double and leads the NBA in assists per game at 12.3.
  • Indiana has not beaten Boston in a season series since the 2015-16 season.
  • The Pacers have now trotted out two different starting lineups this season.

Up Next

The Pacers will host Donovan Mitchell and the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday, Nov. 3 7:00 PM for Indiana's first-ever In-Season Tournament game. Find Tickets >>