After a dramatic victory over the Celtics on Sunday night, the Pacers host Boston again on Tuesday evening at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. The consecutive games between the two teams is part of the NBA's push to reduce travel during a condensed 2020-21 regular season.
The Pacers used a 39-point third quarter to open up a lead on Sunday, then survived a scare down the stretch. A late turnover led to Marcus Smart's go-ahead layup with 11.8 seconds remaining, but Indiana answered on the other end, with Domantas Sabonis scoring the game-winner off a sideline out-of-bounds play drawn up by head coach Nate Bjorkgren.
Six Pacers scored in double figures in the 108-107 victory over the Celtics. That group didn't include Victor Oladipo, as the two-time All-Star sat out the game on the second night of a back-to-back as part of the plan to manage the workload on his surgically repaired knee.
Oladipo should be back in the lineup on Tuesday. He has looked excellent through his first two games this season, scoring 22 points both nights. More importantly, Oladipo has been extremely efficient, shooting 17-for-26 from the field and 7-for-10 from 3-point range to start the year.
Defensively, the Pacers' focus will be on containing Boston forward Jayson Tatum. Bjorkgren threw a number of defensive looks at the 22-year-old All-Star on Sunday, using multiple defenders on Tatum and even utilizing a box-and-one against him at one point in the first half. Expect Bjorkgren to continue to mix up his coverages on Tuesday to try to disrupt Tatum's rhythm.
Pacers: PG - Malcolm Brogdon, SG - Victor Oladipo, SF - T.J. Warren, PF - Domantas Sabonis, C - Myles Turner
Celtics: PG - Marcus Smart, SG - Jaylen Brown, SF - Jayson Tatum, PF - Tristan Thompson, C - Daniel Theis
Pacers: Edmond Sumner - questionable (illness), Goga Bitadze - out (right ankle sprain), Brian Bowen II - out (partial groin tear), Jeremy Lamb - out (left knee rehabilation)
Celtics: Tacko Fall - out (right eye irritation), Romeo Langford - out (right wrist surgery), Kemba Walker - out (left knee recovery)
Dec. 27, 2020: Domantas Sabonis scored the game-winning basket with 8.4 seconds remaining to lift Indiana to a 108-107 victory over the Celtics.
"We've been practicing that play in training camp," Sabonis said after the game. "Coach trusts me with the ball in my hands with the last possession. It's awesome having that feeling."
Malcolm Brogdon led six Pacers in double figures in the win, finishing with 25 points, five rebounds, and five assists. Sabonis added 19 points, 10 rebounds, and five assists while recording his third straight double-double to open the year.
Jayson Tatum led the Celtics with 25 points, 11 rebounds, and five assists in the loss. Jaylen Brown added 18 points on 8-of-13 shooting.
- The Celtics had won nine of the last 13 regular season meetings with the Pacers prior to Sunday.
- The Pacers and Celtics will play three times in the regular season. After consecutive games at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Sunday and Tuesday, the two teams will meet once more in Boston on Feb. 26.
- Indianapolis native and former Pacers guard Jeff Teague signed with Boston this offseason.
Broadcast Information TV & Radio Listings »
TV: FOX Sports Indiana - Chris Denari (play-by-play), Quinn Buckner (analyst), Jeremiah Johnson (sideline reporter/host)
Radio: 93.5/107.5 The Fan - Mark Boyle (play-by-play), Pat Boylan (sideline reporter/host)