GAME RECAP: Celtics 108, Pacers 98
Kyrie Irving drops 25 points and six assists as the Celtics get the win over the Pacers.
Kyrie Irving drops 25 points and six assists as the Celtics get the win over the Pacers.
Nov. 25, 2017 - Pacers head coach Nate McMillan addresses the media following Indiana's 108-98 loss to the Celtics at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
Domantas Sabonis is there for the put back after Darren Collison missed the three.
November 25, 2017 - Pacers players Darren Collison, Thaddeus Young, and Myles Turner give their thoughts on Boston's third quarter surge and how they plan bouncing back from Saturday's loss at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
November 25, 2017 - Lance Stephenson sizes up his defender and knocks down pulls three with just seconds remaining in the opening quarter.
November 25, 2017 - Pacers guard Lance Stephenson drives down the lane and throws down a vicious dunk for two of his 12 first-quarter points.
November 25, 2017 - Pacers forward Thaddeus Young rises up for the rejection.
Domantas Sabonis spins and drains the fadeaway jumper.
Darren Collison goes between the legs and dimes it to Myles Turner for the three.
Darren Collison knocks down the three after the lob from Thaddeus Young.
November 25, 2017 - Indiana native and Drew Powell, who portrays Solomon Grundy on hit show Gotham, talks about his love for the Pacers and his work on the Batman based show.
Game Rewind: Pacers 98, Celtics 108
Saturday, November 25, 2017 at 8:00 PM ET at Bankers Life Fieldhouse
With the Pacers leading by 11 points and under five seconds remaining in the first half, Boston point guard Kyrie Irving jittered through the paint and sent a shot high off the glass that fell through the hoop with one second on the clock.
From that point forward, it was seemingly all Celtics, as the team that had entered the night as winners of 17 of its last 18 games showed what has made them such a force in the East, outscoring Indiana 37-16 in the third quarter en route to the 108-98 victory over the Pacers on Saturday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
The Boston win put an end to what had been a season-long five-game winning streak for the Pacers (11-9), as Indiana struggled to find offense in the absence of its leading scorer Victor Oladipo, who missed the game with a bruised right knee.
"We're a team that does it by committee," Thaddeus Young said. "Any time any guy goes down, we notice an absence, but we have a lot of guys who can step in and play."
Despite its nine-point lead entering the second half, a punishing 16-4 Boston run to close the third quarter put Indiana in a bind entering the final quarter of action at The Fieldhouse.
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That didn't stop the Pacers from attempting to rally against the Celtics (18-3) in the fourth quarter, as Domantas Sabonis scored six straight points for Indiana, bringing the deficit to eight points with 6:45 remaining in the game.
But down the stretch, Boston was able to keep Indiana at arm's length as Marcus Smart and Terry Rozier connected on back-to-back shots to put the Celtics up by 12 with under five minutes remaining in the game.
"Their team showed us tonight that there's another level in the NBA that you have to get to and that's what we're working towards," explained Nate McMillan in the postgame. "Building and being able to play with that type of pressure defensively, play with the same pace offensively, we're trying to get there. I think our guys have been working hard and have been doing some good things, but you can't have 20 turnovers against a good team."
Myles Turner was Indiana's leading scorer on the night with 19 points on 7-of-9 shooting, but struggled with foul trouble for most of the evening.
For the Celtics, it was Kyrie Irving who ran the show, finishing with a game-best 25 points.
Both teams started the night at a disadvantage, missing key contributors and playing on the second night of back-to-backs. Boston was without Jaylen Brown (personal reasons), its second leading scorer behind Kyrie Irving. And the Pacers were playing without Oladipo.
Starting in place of Oladipo was Stephenson, who made his presence known right away, canning a 3-pointer in the first few minutes of action and thundering home a dunk that sent the home crowd into a deafening frenzy. The slam gave Indiana a 23-16 lead in the first quarter, and forced opposing head coach Brad Stevens to burn a timeout with 4:18 left in the frame.
During the final four minutes of the first quarter, the Celtics drew within two points of the lead after Smart connected on a jumper from the right wing. But Indiana finished the opening frame with a punch, using a Sabonis layup and a late-in-the-shot-clock 3-pointer from Stephenson to bring the score to a 32-27 lead over the Celtics entering the second quarter.
After closing the first quarter hot, Indiana continued its run into the second, opening up the frame on a 10-2 sprint to build a 42-29 lead.
For the Celtics, Irving checked back in the game and settled things down, bringing Boston back within striking distance.
Despite Indiana getting the advantage to 12 points, the Celtics had one more shot to give in the half, with Irving banking in a shot off the glass with one second remaining, sending the teams to the locker room with Indiana leading Boston 54-45. Stephenson finished the half with a team-high 14 points while Irving led all scorers with 15.
When the second half began, both teams looked sluggish out of the gate, with Boston outscoring Indiana 12-6 in the first 5:07 of the third quarter before Pacers head coach Nate McMillan called for a timeout.
The timeout did little to slow the Celtics, however, as Boston took its first lead of the game on a 3-pointer from the hand of Rozier, putting the Celtics up 63-62.
While Indiana briefly regained control of the lead, the Celtics revved up their offense, going on an 8-0 run in which six of the points were scored by Al Horford, giving Boston a 71-66 lead and forcing McMillan to use another timeout.
That Celtics run morphed into a 13-2 outburst from Boston, as the Celtics outscored the Pacers 37-16 in the third and entered the final quarter leading 82-70.
Although the Pacers tried to execute a fourth-quarter run to pull back in the game, Indiana's 12-point deficit entering the fourth proved to be too much to overcome against the NBA's top defense as the Pacers' win streak ended at five games.
"We lost. I wouldn't say everybody is happy," said Darren Collison of the team's mood. "If you're happy after a loss, then that's not a good sign. It's actually a good thing the locker room is how it is tonight, after a loss. We can reflect tomorrow on a day off and come back and get it on Monday."
Inside the Numbers
The Pacers committed 20 turnovers on Saturday night.
Al Horford and Kyrie Irving combined to go 19-of-35 from the field for 46 points.
The Pacers went a perfect 15-of-15 from the free throw line, but shot just 7-of-23 from behind the arc.
The Celtics shot 56.3 percent from the field.
You Can Quote Me On That
"I thought we hit a wall. The guys played last night and Boston played last night but I thought we were looking for oxygen in the second half. We were winded, Thad played 19 minutes in the first half, and we looked a little fatigued. They were able to turn up their pressure, force us into turnovers, and capitalize off of that. That is what they have been doing the last three or four games we watched." -Nate McMillan
"They just picked it up defensively. They showed us why they're the number one team in the East. In that third quarter, they got up into us, pushed us back a little bit and we can't let that happen. Overall, we had a lot of self-inflicted mistakes, bad shots, we just have to be better with the basketball." -Thaddeus Young
"I thought we were kind of moving in mud there for two and a half quarters, and we started off the second half off a little bit better but then we really started playing about the six-minute mark of the third. Some shots went our way which was good, Al (Horford) went on his run, Kyrie (Irving) had a run, Terry (Rozier) had a run, Marcus (Smart) was really good the entire game. So, we were fortunate to pull it out because we weren't great the first two and a half quarters. But to our guys credit they kind of stuck with it and pulled together." -Celtics Coach Brad Stevens
- Victor Oladipo missed his first game of the season with a bruised right knee
- The Celtics have now won four consecutive games against the Pacers
- Joe Young and Damien Wilkins each notched double-digit minutes, with both players scoring four points
- The Celtics shot 10-of-25 from 3-point range
Stat of the Night
Indiana's 20 turnovers were a season-high for the Blue & Gold.
The Pacers look to get back on track as they face Aaron Gordon at the Orlando Magic on Monday, November 27 at 7 PM. Tickets »