Fri, Apr 19, 2019 - Page 16 News List

Celtics rally late to defeat Pacers for two-game lead

AP, BOSTON

A poor third quarter did the Indiana Pacers in during Game 1 of their first-round playoff series with the Boston Celtics. In Game 2, Boston seized on a fourth-quarter collapse by Indiana.

Kyrie Irving on Wednesday night scored 37 points as Boston rallied late in the fourth quarter to beat Indiana 99-91 and take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.

Coming out of a time-out and with a chance for Indiana to tie, the Pacers’ Wesley Matthews threw an inbounds pass into the bench on the other side of the court with 12.1 seconds left.

On the ensuing play, the Celtics’ Al Horford passed to Jayson Tatum, who was fouled on a two-handed dunk. He completed the three-point play to make it 97-91 with 8.8 seconds left.

The Pacers turned it over again and the Celtics were able to close out the game at the free-throw line.

Tatum scored 26 points, including his thunderous dunk down the stretch to help punctuate a 10-0 run by Boston over the final five minutes.

Irving said that being able to have this kind of performance at TD Garden after sitting out the playoffs last season was not lost on him.

After scoring only eight points in the third quarter of Game 1, the Pacers scored only 12 points in the fourth of Game 2.

Bojan Bogdanovic led the Pacers with 23 points and Young added 15 points, while Myles Turner finished with six blocks.

Darren Collison scored seven points during a 10-0 run that gave the Pacers a 70-58 lead in the third quarter as turnovers began to pile up for the Celtics.

Indiana led 79-68 entering the fourth. Horford opened the final period scoring on a hook shot in the lane and Tyreke Evans responded with a three-pointer on Indiana’s first possession.

However, then Boston got hot, using a 16-0 run, including eight straight by Irving, to take an 86-82 lead with 5 minutes, 4 seconds to play.

Indiana missed 10 straight shots during the run, finally breaking a nearly eight-minute scoring drought with a three-pointer by Matthews in front of the Celtics’ bench.

Bogdanovic hit a three-pointer from virtually the same spot as Matthews to put the Pacers back in front.

Gordon Hayward responded with a jumper, before Bogdanovic hit another trey over Horford that made it 91-89 Pacers with 2 minutes, 16 seconds remaining.

Following an Indiana miss, Tatum connected on a three-pointer from the corner. After Horford blocked Bogdanovic at the rim, Tatum found a cutting Hayward for a layup and the Pacers were undone by their late turnovers.

In other games on Wednesday, the Milwaukee Bucks crushed the Detroit Pistons 120-99 and the Houston Rockets overpowered the Utah Jazz 118-98.

Additional reporting by staff writer

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