The Boston Celtics followed up Sunday’s dramatic Patriots win with one of their own, as Terry Rozier III stole an ill-advised pass, hustled down the court and slammed it home to give the Celtics a 112-111 win over the Indiana Pacers.
Right out of the gate the Celtics were firing on all cylinders. They started of the first quarter going 10-for-10 from the field, while building a substantial 38-21 lead in a quarter where they shot 69 percent.
During the first half, Marcus Smart was shooting the ball well, going 4-for-4 from deep, as the Celtics took a 62-47 lead into halftime. But that didn’t continue into the second half, where Smart didn’t attempt a single three-pointer.
Once the fourth quarter came around, the Pacers found themselves within eight points and Jaylen Brown found himself starting the quarter on the bench with five fouls. That eventually didn’t stop him from fouling out in the final 30 seconds either.
It all came down to the final two minutes of the game when it became an epic battle between Kyrie Irving and Victor Oladipo. At one point, Oladipo nailed four straight baskets to give the Pacers a 105 -102 lead, but it wasn’t enough as the Celtics took over in the final 30 seconds.
In just that span, Irving knocked down a pair of big threes, Smart nailed a floater, and the biggest play of them all came from Rozier. Just after the Pacers inbounded the ball on the Celtics’ half of the court, Rozier made a great hustle play to steal a pass attempt from the Pacers’ Bojan Bogdanovic and took it to the house for the slam-bam. Celtics win!
Irving led all Celtics scorers with 30 points (12-23 FG/5-8 3PT) and Al Horford posted his eighth double-double of the year, with 14 points and 10 rebounds to go with 9 assists. Jayson Tatum finished with 16 points (6-8 FG/1-1 3PT) and Smart had 15 off the bench. Oladipo led all scorers with 38 points (10-13 FT) in a game where the Pacers attempted 38 free-throws to the Celtics 14.
Up next: The Celtics head down to South Beach on Wednesday night to take on the Miami Heat. Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m. Catch the call of the game with Sean Grande and Cedric Maxwell live on 98.5 The Sports Hub, with pre-game coverage beginning at 7:00 p.m.
— By John ‘The Dude’ Hardiman, 985TheSportsHub.com