The Boston Celtics of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, who added 67 points between the two, got their third consecutive win on Wednesday night at beat the Indiana Pacers (100-119). The Celtics came to Indiana after also defeating the Pacers at home on Monday after overtime (101-98) and the New York Knicks on Saturday (99-75).
In a game in which the Celtics (21-21) were ahead at all times, Brown had 34 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists while Tatum had 33 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocks. For his part, Dennis Schroder had 23 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists and one steal. Dominican Al Horford contributed 8 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists for Boston.
As for the Pacers (15-27), the best was Domantas Sabonis with 17 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists and 2 steals, but the local team was heavily penalized for its poor accuracy from the perimeter (7 of 36, 19 ,4%). Myles Turner scored 18 points, Caris LeVert had 16 and Justin Holiday had 13.
Tatum starts out strong
In the first four minutes of the first quarter, Tatum made three triples of three attempts, giving Boston an advantage on the scoreboard (9-16). Another triple by Tatum five minutes from the end of the first quarter marked the Celtics’ maximum advantage so far (13-24), but with two minutes to go, Pacers center Domantas Sabonis responded with a powerful one-handed dunk. The first partial (25-35) concluded with 14 points from Tatum, who also made 2 blocks, and 10 points from Jaylen Brown, both also adding 2 assists and 1 rebound. LeVert was the best of the Pacers with 7 points and an assist.
The second quarter began with an extraordinary block from Oshae Brissett on Josh Richardson and, taking advantage of some errors by the Celtics, Justin Holiday cut the lead (31-37) with two triples and a basket. However, Brown imposed his law with two triples in a row in less than a minute to once again make a difference in the light (31-45). Although the Celtics continued to dominate the second quarter, the Pacers were not willing to give it up with great teamwork and the first half ended with a difference of only 5 points (49-54) thanks to the 10 points of Sabonis. Tatum signed a dunk in the second quarter, his only two points in a segment in which he was more dedicated – which is not usually very common in the Celtics leader – to make room for him and support Brown and the rest of his teammates both in defense as in attack.
The Celtics control the situation
The third quarter began with Schroder pulling for the Celtics while Sabonis did the same for the Pacers. An ‘alley-oop’ with a pass from Al Horford and a mate from Robert Williams III near the middle of the third quarter gave the Celtics a 15-point lead (55-70). From the personnel line and the triple, Brown increased the differential to 18 (60-78) with five minutes to finish the set. Although the Boston team controlled the situation, an Oshae Brissett dunk in the final seconds reminded the Celtics that the Indianapólis were not going to make it easy.
Electric Payton Pritchard, who had missed the last games due to coronavirus protocol, jumped onto the court in the final quarter to eat the world, but coach Ime Udoka did not give him much play and returned him to the bench after 4 minutes. Another two triples in a row from Brown in a few seconds got the maximum advantage of the match (87-109) less than five minutes from the end. In the last minutes of the match, the result on the scoreboard began to not be as interesting as the friendly duel between Brown and Tatum to see who could score the most. Udoka again brought out the great little Pritchard, who scored the last triple of the game leaving the score at 100-119.