Celtics beat Pacers 84-74: 5 Takeaways from Boston's Game 1 win

17 April, 2019, 12:59 | Author: Brenda Erickson
  • Pacers ready to tip-off playoffs against Celtics

Marcus Smart will miss the first round with a torn oblique muscle but Boston can plug either Gordon Hayward or Jaylen Brown into the starting rotation. But there was a gradual decrescendo, as the Celtics managed to tally just 6 points in the first six minutes of play.

Kyrie Irving was unsurprisingly tied for the team's leading scorer with 20 points to match Marcus Morris' impressive effort off the bench. It entered Week 26 of the 2018-19 National Basketball Association season with a sterling 292-234 record on all top-rated picks, returning more than $4,000 in profit to anybody following them.

"They missed some shots, but we were really connected", he said.

"We just had to turn that page", he said.

Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving (11) controls the ball while center Aron Baynes (46) blocks Indiana Pacers forward Domantas Sabonis (11) during the second half in game one of the first round of the 2019 NBA Playoffs at TD Garden.

Game 2 is Wednesday night in Boston.

I keep looking back at the March 25 meeting between these two teams (Note: This was after the Pacers lost Victor Oladipo for the season, so similar lineups to what we'll see in this series), when the Celtics won 114-112 but didn't cover as seven-point home favorites. "We were really playing hard".

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Boston's run included a brief appearance by Celtics Hall of Famer and former Pacers front office executive Larry Bird, who was shown on the big screen during a timeout.

The third period ended with Terry Rozier connecting on an acrobatic 3-pointer with 0.1 seconds remaining to put the Celtics ahead 64-53.

Celtics: Outrebounded the Pacers 55-42.

But after Boston committed four turnovers in the first four minutes of the game, Stevens quickly adjusted, inserting Morris and Hayward.

Should he be able to get his field goal percentage closer to his average for the season (48.7%), the Celtics' offense should have no trouble getting that scoring total up for the rest of the series. Barring some extremely unforeseen events, once the Celtics make it past IN, they will face the Milwaukee Bucks, who have the NBA's best record, best point differential and, most importantly, Giannis Antetokounmpo, the league's best and most valuable player.

"Those guys guarded their butts off", Stevens said. Over the past 35 years, teams that shot that poorly and committed that many turnovers had gone a combined 3-19 in playoff games before Sunday. He joined Isaiah Thomas in 2015 and JoJo White in 1972.

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