Pacers vs Celtics (Game 3)

Pacers Hoping to Get Sabonis More Involved

April 18, 2019 - The Celtics have limited Pacers sixth man Domantas Sabonis to just eight points over the first two games of their series, so Sabonis and his teammates discussed how to get him more touches.

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Pacers Hoping to Get Sabonis More Involved

April 18, 2019 - The Celtics have limited Pacers sixth man Domantas Sabonis to just eight points over the first two games of their series, so Sabonis and his teammates discussed how to get him more touches.
Apr 18, 2019  |  01:15

Shootaround: Pacers Looking for Right Shots in Game 3

April 19, 2019 - After shootaround on Friday, Pacers head coach and players Tyreke Evans and Darren Collison talked about finding their scoring within the flow of the offense.
Apr 19, 2019  |  01:17

Practice: Pacers on Preventing Scoring Droughts

April 18, 2019 - After a tough loss in Game 2, Pacers head coach Nate McMillan and team captain Thaddeus Young talked about what causes the offense to stall and what can be done to prevent it in the future.
Apr 18, 2019  |  02:33

Game Preview: Pacers vs Celtics (Game 3)

Friday, April 19, 2019 at 8:30 PM ET at Bankers Life Fieldhouse
by Wheat Hotchkiss
Pacers.com Writer/Editor
@Wheat_Hotchkiss

Matchup

The Pacers return home to Indianapolis frustrated after dropping two winnable games in Boston to open their first-round playoff series. In each loss, Indiana's offense went cold for an entire quarter, allowing the Celtics to eke out two victories and retain homecourt advantage in the best-of-seven series.

In Game 1, the Pacers had an abysmal third quarter, scoring just eight points in the frame on 2-of-19 shooting. In Game 2 on Wednesday, they actually racked up 29 points in the third to build an 11-point lead, only for the offense to go cold in the fourth.

After Tyreke Evans' 3-pointer with 11:20 remaining pushed the lead to 12, Indiana didn't score for the next 7:56, opening the door for Boston to reel off 16 unanswered points. Indiana eventually retook the lead after back-to-back threes by Bojan Bogdanovic, only for the Celtics to close the game on a 10-0 run and secure a 99-91 win.

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The Pacers were outscored 31-12 in the fourth quarter on Wednesday. Surprisingly, all 12 of their points came on 3-point field goals, as they went 0-for-9 from inside the arc and 0-for-2 from the free throw line in the fateful period.

"Everybody's just got to stay confident, continue to be aggressive," Pacers point guard Darren Collison said after the loss. "We like the looks we're getting."

One player who is particularly struggling to find a rhythm offensively so far in the series is sixth man Domantas Sabonis. The 22-year-old center averaged 14.1 points per game and collected a team-high 30 double-doubles during the regular season, but has not been nearly as productive against Boston.

Sabonis had seven points on 3-of-9 shooting in Game 1 and then attempted just one shot in 22 minutes in Game 2, finishing with just one point (though he did tally five rebounds, five assists, and two steals). The Celtics are clearly scheming to limit Sabonis' production, meaning Pacers coach Nate McMillan will need to figure out some adjustments to get his big man more involved.

Projected Starters

Pacers: PG - Darren Collison, SG - Wesley Matthews, SF - Bojan Bogdanovic, PF - Thaddeus Young, C - Myles Turner
Celtics: PG - Kyrie Irving, SG - Jaylen Brown, SF - Jayson Tatum, PF - Aron Baynes, C - Al Horford

Injury Report

Pacers: Victor Oladipo - out (right knee surgery)

Celtics: Marcus Smart - out (left oblique tear)

Coors Cold Hard Fact

The Pacers met the Celtics in the first round of the playoffs for three consecutive seasons, between 2002-03 and 2005-06. The Pacers won two out of three of those meetings.

Last Meeting

April 17, 2019: The Pacers took a 79-68 lead into the fourth quarter of Game 2, but Boston outscored the Blue & Gold 31-12 over the final 12 minutes to earn a 99-91 win.

Kyrie Irving led all scorers with 37 points, going 16-for-25 from the field and 6-for-10 from 3-point range while also tallying six rebounds and seven assists.

"When they put the ball in that guy's hands, he makes things happen," Thaddeus Young said. "He made some tough shots and I think that was the ending factor for us."

Bojan Bogdanovic led Indiana with 23 points, eight rebounds, three assists, and four steals in the loss. Young added 15 points, six boards, three assists, and three steals.

Noteworthy

  • Friday's game is a "Gold Out" at Bankers Life Fieldhouse and all fans in attendance will receive a "Gold Don't Quit" t-shirt.
  • Rookie guard Aaron Holiday moved into the rotation in Game 2, logging 5:31 in the first half and finishing with two points on 1-of-3 shooting.
  • After leading the Celtics with 20 points in Game 1, Marcus Morris went scoreless in Game 2, missing all eight of his shot attempts, including four from 3-point range.

Tickets

The series shifts to Indianapolis as the Pacers host the Celtics for Game 3 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Friday, April 19 at 8:30 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)
ESPN - Mark Jones (play-by-play), Hubie Brown (analyst), Israel Gutierrez (sideline reporter)
Radio: 107.5 FM/1070 AM The Fan - Mark Boyle (play-by-play), Slick Leonard (analyst), Pat Boylan (sideline reporter/host)
Please Note: Inside Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Pacers radio broadcasts can be heard on 1080 AM instead of 1070.

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