GAME RECAP: Celtics 104, Pacers 96
Jaylen Brown scores 23 as the Celtics get the win over the Pacers, 104-96.
Jaylen Brown scores 23 as the Celtics get the win over the Pacers, 104-96.
The Pacers play their first playoff game at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in-front a packed crowd but struggle to close it out in the 4th and lose 96-104 to the Boston Celtics.
April 19, 2019 - Pacers players Darren Collison, Doug McDermott, Domantas Sabonis, Cory Joseph, and Myles Turner discussed Indiana's 104-96 loss to the Boston Celtics playoff game 3 Saturday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
April 19, 2019 - Pacers head coach Nate McMillan discusses the teams tough Game 3 loss to the Celtics on Friday night.
April 19, 2019 - Pacers guard Tyreke Evans discusses the teams struggles against Boston through three games following their Game 3 loss at home.
April 19, 2019 - Cory Joseph frees up Wesley Matthews with a screen, leading to a big three pointer from the wing.
April 19, 2019 - Domantas Sabonis battles inside and comes away with two points.
April 19, 2019 - Myles Turner finds space on the pick-and-pop and hits the jumper through contact.
April 19, 2019: Boston Celtics vs. Indiana Pacers - Highlights
April 19, 2019 - Thaddeus Young gets out in transition and throws down the one-handed dunk.
April 19, 2019 - Thaddeus Young creates the turnover and finds Tyreke Evans who finishes at the hoop.
April 19, 2019 - The Pacers regroup after a rejected layup leading to a big shot from the corner for Myles Turner.
April 19, 2019 - Wesley Matthews gets it done on both ends of the court, getting the steal and the basket.
April 19, 2019 - Bojan Bogdanovic beats his defender one-on-one and gets to the rim for bucket.
April 19, 2019 - Celtics players Kyrie Irving and Jaylen Brown talk about their winning performance after Game 3 in Indiana.
April 19, 2019 - Celtics head coach Brad Stevens discusses Boston's 104-96 win over the Pacers in Game 3 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
Game Rewind: Pacers 96, Celtics 104 (Game 3)
Friday, April 19, 2019 at 8:30 PM ET at Bankers Life Fieldhouse
The Pacers were hoping for a different result back at home, but Game 3 against the Celtics followed a similar script to Games 1 and 2 in Boston.
Indiana once again showed it could hang with Boston, but endured another second-half shooting slump and came up short in a 104-96 loss at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
With the win, the Celtics take a commanding 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven series. No NBA team has ever come back from a 3-0 deficit to win a series.
"It's our end-of-game execution, that's all it comes down to," Pacers center Myles Turner said. "We're playing good enough defense to win, but we've got to score."
Tyreke Evans led Indiana with 19 points off the bench in the loss — 15 of them coming in the first half — while Bojan Bogdanovic finished with 15 points, five rebounds, and four assists in the loss.
Celtics forward Jaylen Brown led all scorers with 23 points, going 8-for-9 from the field and 4-for-5 from 3-point range. All-Star guard Kyrie Irving added 19 points, 10 assists, and five rebounds for Boston.
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The Pacers scored the first three points of Game 3, but the Celtics dominated the next several minutes with an 18-4 run.
Boston extended its lead to as many as 15 points in the opening frame thanks to its 3-point shooting. The visitors went 8-for-10 from beyond the arc in the first quarter, with Brown knocking down all three of his attempts and adding a dunk for good measure.
The Celtics took a 41-28 lead into the second quarter, but that's when Evans took over. The 6-6 guard scored 12 points in the first seven minutes of the period, capped by a 3-pointer that tied the game at 52.
"I just came in and thought I was patient," Evans said after the game. "I didn't really force anything."
Indiana finally took its first lead since the opening minutes on Wesley Matthews' 3-pointer from the left corner with 1:22 remaining in the half. Al Horford's layup with 43.1 seconds left tied the game once again, but Darren Collison's bucket on the other end gave the Blue & Gold a two-point lead at the break.
— Indiana Pacers (@Pacers) April 20, 2019
Unfortunately, the Pacers once again went cold after halftime. After scoring just eight points in the third quarter of Game 1 and 12 in the fourth quarter of Game 2, Indiana had another nightmare frame on Wednesday, tallying just 12 points in the third quarter on 5-of-23 shooting.
Fortunately the Celtics weren't much better for most of the quarter, going 7-for-24 themselves, though they closed the frame with six unanswered points to take an 80-73 advantage into the fourth.
"Third quarter, we lost our patience," Pacers head coach Nate McMillan said. "We weren't patient, we started taking some quick, contested shots, bailing them out. I thought defensively we didn't have patience, we lost the rhythm, lost momentum. That carried out throughout the game."
The Pacers chipped away at Boston's lead, getting within one after Matthews was fouled beyond the arc and hit all three free throws with 6:05 to play. But Irving answered with a layup on the ensuing possession to keep the Celtics in front.
Irving subsequently converted a contested fadeaway jumper, then drove and kicked to Horford for a 3-pointer that pushed Boston's lead back to seven with 3:32 remaining.
"I thought they did a great job of running their sets and really executing," Collison said. "They played off one another. Jaylen Brown had his moments, Kyrie, Gordon Hayward, Terry (Rozier), Al Horford — it just seemed like they had their moments with each guy."
The Pacers were unable to even make it a one-possession game the rest of the way, as Irving and the Celtics held on to secure the win and control of the series.
Seven Pacers reached double figures in the loss. Turner tallied 13 points, seven rebounds, and two blocks, while fellow center Domantas Sabonis had 12 points, seven boards, and six assists off the bench. Matthews and Thaddeus Young added 11 points each, while Collison scored 10.
Jayson Tatum finished with 18 points and seven rebounds for the Celtics, while Horford had another solid all-around performance, racking up 16 points, eight boards, and four assists.
The Pacers will look to avoid being swept on Sunday afternoon when they host Game 4 at 1:00 PM ET.
"Sunday's a big game," McMillan said. "It's do-or-die for us. It's as simple as that."
Photo Credit: Jessica Hoffman
Inside the Numbers
Boston's 41 points in the first quarter were the most by a Pacers opponent in the opening frame all season. They allowed 40 points to Golden State on Jan. 28.
Evans' 19 points matched his playoff career high. He also scored 19 points for New Orleans in a Game 3 loss to the Warriors on April 23, 2015.
Indiana outscored Boston 34-22 in points in the paint on Friday.
After starting 8-for-10, the Celtics went 15-for-34 from 3-point range in Game 3. The Pacers were 11-for-30, but just 3-for-15 in the second half.
The Pacers scored 20 points off 13 Boston turnovers while only allowing 10 points off their 11 giveaways.
Irving recorded his fourth career postseason double-double on Friday. He had three while playing for Cleveland, one against Boston in 2015 and two in consecutive games against Toronto in 2017.
You Can Quote Me On That
"He's a great player. He's a playmaker. He's a guy that does a great job of reading the defense. He's unselfish...Those guys were knocking down open shots. He creates opportunities for his teammates as well as for himself." -McMillan on Kyrie Irving
"We just have to find the silver lining. That silver lining is that we've been in every single game. All it takes is one win. There definitely won't be any quit in us. We feel like it is still a series." -Collison
"We just go on droughts where we are not making shots, shots are rattling in and out and we're not getting good looks that are within our offense. Back to the drawing board once again." -Young on Indiana's offensive woes
"The confidence is at a very high level when we know what everyone is capable of on the floor. Down the stretch, everyone made some big plays. They were little things in the grand scheme, but they were big plays. An offensive rebound, a tip-out, getting back in transition. Those are the things you need to do to guarantee the win." -Irving
"You're not going to win it in the first quarter, you're not going to win it in the second. You have to keep doing it over and over and that's what's hard in the playoffs. This Indiana team plays with tremendous character and integrity...They play the game the right way, the way it is supposed to be played. We have to be ready to compete at the highest level again." -Celtics head coach Brad Stevens on Game 4
Stat of the Night
The Pacers shot 21.7 percent from the field in the third quarter (5-for-23) and 11.1 percent from 3-point range (1-for-9), when they were outscored by Boston, 21-12.
- Tatum received the only technical foul of the game for arguing a call with 3:42 left in the first quarter.
- Celebrities in attendance at Friday's game included Colts tight end Eric Ebron, Fever first-round draft pick Teaira McCowan, and New Kids on the Block band members Donnie Wahlberg and Danny Wood.
- All fans in attendance for Game 3 received a "Gold Don't Quit" t-shirt and a light-up wristband that was activated several times in the arena during pregame introductions and in-game performances.
The Pacers host the Celtics again at Bankers Life Fieldhouse for Game 4 on Sunday, April 21 at 1:00 PM ET. Find Tickets »