Boston Celtics

The Boston Celtics overcome a 26-point deficit just to fall to the Indiana Pacers 97-91 in the closing minutes of Friday night’s game at the TD Garden.

Coming into the second of a back-to-back and the fourth game in six days, the Celtics struggled to find their offensive rhythm throughout the first half.

The C’s finished the first quarter shooting an unimpressive 23 percent from the field, while the Pacers were knocking down buckets left and right.

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Heading into the second quarter, the Celtics trailed 30-16, before the Pacers went on a 12-4 run to open the quarter.

In the first half the C’s couldn’t buy a three-pointer, even with all the money in the world. By the end of the second, the Celtics had only made 1-of-11 three-pointers, while shooting 29 percent from the field. The Pacers stayed consist offensively, shooting 53 percent from the field, leading to a 59-38 lead in halftime.

The Celtics open up the third quarter with a 14-to-7 run, which eventually led to a 25-to-13 run, cutting the C’s deficit to nine with 2:46 to play in the third.

Terry Rozier III cut the lead to four, with a buzzer-beating three to end the third quarter.

With less than 10 minutes to play, the Celtics railed by two points and had a few chances to tie it up but they just couldn’t get it done at the time.

It was then Al Horford who was able to give the Celtics their first lead of the game with just over five minutes to play following a deep bucket.

LISTEN: Sean Grande and Cedric Maxwell Call Horford’s Go-Ahead Three

Victor Oladipo followed up Horford’s made basket with one of his own to give the Pacers the lead once again.

Kyrie Irving knocks down a pair of free throws to give the C’s their last lead of the night at 85-84.

The Pacers would regain the lead and never look in the closing minutes of the game, leading to a 97-91 win.

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Irving led all Celtics scorers with 21 points (8-18 FG) and five assists. Jaylen had 16 points, with Jayson Tatum dropping 15. Horford came up with 10 points (2-2 3PT), eight rebounds and four assists.

Rozier made one field goal all night, shooting 1-for-11 from the field, but he finished with 10 points after knocking seven of his eight free throws.

Oladipo had himself a night with a 35 point, 10 rebound, double-double.

The C’s would go onto finish the night shooting 38 percent from the field and 26 percent from three.

UP NEXT: The Celtics (40-17) play their fourth game in six days on Sunday afternoon when they welcome the Cleveland Cavaliers (32-22) to the TD Garden. And on Sunday “The Truth” Paul Pierce will make his return to the Garden to have his #34 sent up into the rafters. Catch the call of the game with Sean Grande and Cedric Maxwell live on 98.5 The Sports Hub. Pre-game coverage begins at 3:00 p.m., with tip-off set for 3:30 p.m.

—  By John ‘The Dude’ Hardiman, 985TheSportsHub.com

John Hardiman is a Digital Producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for John? Hit him up on Twitter @HardiDude or e-mail him at john.hardiman@bbgi.com.