Game Preview: Pacers at Celtics
Wednesday, January 9, 2019 at 7:00 PM ET at TD Garden
Last Updated: Jan. 9 at 1:00 PM ET
The Pacers have posted an impressive 5-1 record during the second night of back-to-backs this season, but face a daunting test on Wednesday night in Boston.
After taking care of the Cavaliers on Tuesday, the Pacers (27-13) will aim to win their second game of the season against a Celtics (24-15) team that has won three straight.
Indiana has been without Myles Turner (sore right shoulder) for two games now, and in both matchups the team's normally stout defense has faltered. During a loss to Toronto on Sunday, Indiana gave up 121 points. And in Tuesday's win over the Cavs, the Pacers allowed Cleveland to crawl back from a 26-point deficit as the Cavaliers finished with 115 points.
"To give up 72 points in that second half is just, I don't have an explanation for that," Pacers head coach Nate McMillan said after Tuesday's victory. "We got the win but we're better than that and we know it."
As the Pacers work to correct their defense, Boston's offense enters the game on fire, surpassing 115 points in all three of the victories during their win streak.
The scoring has come from all parts of Boston's offense as well, with its leading scorer being a different player in each of the three wins.
But as usual, priority number one for the Pacers will be slowing down the electric Kyrie Irving, who leads the Celtics with 22.9 points per game.
The Celtics, a preseason favorite to win the East, offer a good test of where the Pacers — who have won 14 of their last 17 games — stand in the Eastern Conference.
"They're a very solid defensive team, so we just gotta just continue to go out there and play," Thad Young said of the matchup. "We gotta execute and run our stuff and hopefully come out of there with a win."
Pacers: PG - Darren Collison, SG - Victor Oladipo, SF - Bojan Bogdanovic, PF - Thaddeus Young, C - Domantas Sabonis
Celtics: PG - Kyrie Irving, SG - Marcus Smart, SF - Jayson Tatum, PF - Marcus Morris, C - Al Horford
Pacers: Myles Turner - out (sore right shoulder), Darren Collison - questionable (sore right leg)
Celtics: Aron Baynes - out (left fourth metacarpal fracture), Jabari Bird - out (personal reasons)
November 3, 2018: In arguably the most exciting game of the season to date, Victor Oladipo pulled up and hit a game-winning 3-pointer with 3.4 seconds remaining to beat the Celtics 102-101 in front of a rocking Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
The Celtics had one chance to answer following the thrilling bucket, but were unable to get the inbounds pass in as an Oladipo deflection sent the clock to zeroes as the Pacers rushed the floor to celebrate their biggest win of the season.
"I was just trying to get to any spot and win the game," said Oladipo of his thought process. "Get to my spot wherever I could get a shot off and win the game. I saw the clock going down and I just felt like I could get to that spot and I shot it with confidence."
The game was made tight by Kyrie Irving, who connected on back-to-back 3-pointers to give the Celtics a brief lead. That lead, however, was overtaken when Oladipo splashed a cold-blooded three in response, sealing the win for the Pacers.
- The Celtics lead the all-time series 95-79, but the Pacers have won their last two road games at TD Garden.
- Boston coach Brad Stevens was the coach of Butler from 2007-2013 and went to high school in Zionsville.
- The Pacers are 5-1 this season when playing on the second night of a back-to-back, including a 1-1 record on the road.
After a five-game road trip, the Pacers return home to face Devin Booker and the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday, Jan. 15 at 7:00 PM ET. Find Tickets »
Broadcast Information TV & Radio Listings »
TV: FOX Sports Indiana - Chris Denari (play-by-play), Quinn Buckner (analyst), Jeremiah Johnson (sideline reporter/host)
Radio: 107.5 FM The Fan - Mark Boyle (play-by-play), Pat Boylan (studio host)