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Game Rewind: Pacers 128, Celtics 107

Game Recap

The Boston Celtics entered Gainbridge Fieldhouse on Sunday as arguably the NBA's hottest team over the last month, having won 11 of their last 12 and 13 of their last 15 contests.

But the Pacers had their way with the Celtics on Sunday night. Indiana (21-41) rained down 17 3-pointers and four Pacers topped 20 points in a 128-107 victory over Boston (36-27).

Oshae Brissett led the way with a season-high 27 points and six rebounds, going 6-for-9 from 3-point range. Buddy Hield scored 13 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter, while Tyrese Haliburton added 20 points, four boards, and nine assists, going 4-for-6 from beyond the arc.

Malcolm Brogdon played in just the first three quarters once again in his second game back from a sore left Achilles, but he made his presence felt in that time. The sixth-year guard tallied 20 points, six rebounds, five assists, and two steals in just 29 minutes of action.

"The key guy is Brogdon," Pacers head coach Rick Carlisle said after the win. "If Malcolm Brogdon plays, we're a different basketball team. It's pretty obvious. It's pretty plain to see that he and Tyrese really complement each other really well."

The Pacers got off to a fast start thanks to some sharp shooting by their starting backcourt. Brogdon and Haliburton each hit their first two 3-point attempts to help Indiana jump out to an 18-13 lead less than five minutes into the contest.

"A hundred percent intentional," Haliburton said about coming out aggressive offensively. "A lot of people said I was too passive, I felt like I was too passive last game. So I just wanted to come out and set the tone early. Shots were falling, so I was feeling good."

Indiana remained in front for most of the frame, but Celtics second-year guard Payton Pritchard tied the game at 27 with a 3-pointer with 2:06 left in the quarter, then drilled another trey the next trip down the floor to put Boston in front. The score remained at 30-27 entering the second quarter.

There were five lead changes and one tie in the first five minutes of the ensuing frame. Brissett helped the Pacers finally create a little separation, knocking down back-to-back-to-back 3-pointers on a trio of Pacers possessions. Rookie guard Chris Duarte delivered a fourth trey the next time down the floor, giving Indiana a 56-46 lead with 3:13 remaining in the first half.

After a Celtics timeout, Hield made it five straight possessions with a Pacers three. One last triple — a deep shot by Haliburton from 36 feet with the shot clock expiring — gave Indiana a 66-55 lead entering the intermission.

Brissett's fifth and sixth 3-pointers of the night bookended a 12-4 Pacers run to open the second half as the Blue & Gold extended the margin to 19 points less than three minutes into the third quarter.

Boston responded quickly, however, reeling off eight straight points to erase the Pacers' progress. The Celtics trimmed their deficit to seven on three occasions later in the frame, but the Pacers pushed their lead back to 93-82 entering the fourth quarter.

The Celtics managed to carve away at the lead once again, drawing within seven at 99-92 following Jaylen Brown's 3-pointer with 8:14 remaining. But Hield came to life to add some points to the Pacers' cushion, first drilling a three over two Boston defenders, then intercepting Robert Williams III's pass and converting a layup after a fastbreak give-and-go with Haliburton.

After a timeout, Duane Washington Jr. found Jalen Smith spotting up in the left corner for a three that made it 107-92 with 6:39 to play.

The Pacers quickly put the game on ice from there. The highlight of the final minutes came when Haliburton dished to a cutting Brissett for a layup with 3:51 remaining, then Duarte intercepted the inbounds pass and scored another quick two to push the lead to 19.

Smith recorded a double-double off the bench with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Fellow reserve Duarte tallied 11 points, as did rookie big man Isaiah Jackson.

Jayson Tatum had a team-high 24 points for Boston, but went just 7-for-22 from the field and 2-for-12 from 3-point range. Brown added 23 points on 10-of-16 shooting and eight assists for the Celtics in the loss, while Williams tallied 10 points, 11 rebounds, and four blocks.

The Pacers will embark on a four-game road trip next week that begins with a pair of games in Orlando on Monday and Wednesday.

Inside the Numbers

Brissett's six 3-pointers were a new career high. He made five threes twice last season, but had not made more than three in a game this year.

Sunday's game was just the sixth time since 2001 that four Pacers scored 20 or more points in a game, per Pacers PR.

Hield topped 20 points for the third time in his past four games.

The Pacers outscored Boston 52-44 in the paint and 20-10 on the fastbreak.

Haliburton made four threes for the third time in six games with Indiana.

You Can Quote Me On That

"It was important for us to play with pace and move it and play randomly and play with an unselfish spirit to get people shots." -Carlisle on the Pacers' offense

"I feel like we fit well. He's getting in the paint, getting two feet in the paint very consistently and I'm just moving off of that. He lets me bring it up and he knows that I can facilitate really well. He lets me do that, but there are times I think where we're starting to learn each other." -Haliburton on his fit with Brogdon

"Malcolm's a very unique player. He's our best perimeter defender...having a guy with that kind of versatility defensively is really key in today's game. Offensively, the pressure he puts on the rim is very underrated." -Carlisle on Brogdon's impact

Stat of the Night

The Pacers shot a season-best 51.5 percent from 3-point range, going 17-for-33 from beyond the arc.

Noteworthy

  • The Pacers snapped a four-game skid against Boston, beating the Celtics for the first time since Dec. 27, 2020.
  • Duarte returned after missing the previous three games with a sore left big toe.
  • Indiana is now 3-8 on the season when playing on the first night of a back-to-back.

Up Next

The Pacers travel to Orlando to take on Cole Anthony and the Magic on the second night of a back-to-back on Monday, Feb. 28 at 7:00 PM ET.

Tickets

After a four-game road trip, the Pacers return home to host Caris LeVert and the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday, March 8 at 7:00 PM ET. Find Tickets »