By Stephen Ur –
The Boston Celtics were in Indiana to take on the Pacers Thursday night in their return to action following the 2023 NBA All-Star Break. They came in with the top record in the Eastern Conference while the Pacers were on the outside of the playoff picture, sitting in 12th place in the East.
That didn’t matter to this team as they were able to jump out to an 8-2 lead early on after Buddy Hield connected on a three-point shot at the 9:54 mark in the first quarter. Boston made a huge run of their own and held a 26-17 lead with 4:19 left in the first.
Indiana made it a three-point game at the end of the quarter, but the Celtics took a lead as big as 14 late in the second and led by 10 at halftime. The Pacers went on a 13-2 run in the first 2:33 of the third quarter and took a 71-70 lead.
The two teams would go back and forth the rest of the way, and Tyrese Haliburton missed a game-winning three at the end of regulation. The game would go into overtime tied at 125.
Jayson Tatum would make the two go-ahead foul shots with 56 seconds left that ultimately won the game for Boston as they left Indiana with a 142-138 victory. Tatum led the way with 31 points on 9 of 25 shooting, adding 12 rebounds.
Jalen Brown also scored 30 points for the Celtics, shooting 11 of 24 from the floor and 3 for 5 from three. Marcus Smart had 15, and Malcolm Brogdon and Derrick White scored 24 and 17 respectively coming off the bench.
The Celtics will hit the road again on Saturday as they travel to take on the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday night. The game is set to tip-off at 8:30 p.m. ET.