98.5 The Sports Hub Staff Report
Despite 44 points from Kemba Walker, the Boston Celtics couldn’t hold up defensively in the fourth quarter and fell to the Indiana Pacers 122-117 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Wednesday. The game featured big runs by both teams with the Pacers ultimately getting the last one, outscoring the C’s 38-23 in the final 12 minutes.
Pacers forward Domanatas Sabonis pushed to the basket and finished a clutch lay-in to give the Packers a three-point lead with just 32.4 seconds left in regulation. Celtics guard Brad Wanamaker answered with two points of his own, but it bled another 13.7 seconds off the clock and the C’s were forced to foul from there. A potential game-tying three-point attempt by Walker missed the mark as time expired.
Jaylen Brown pitched in with 18 points. Jayson Tatum scored 16 while shooting just 2-for-8 from three. The Pacers spread out their scoring more with six players in double figures, including 29 points for Malcolm Brogdon. Led by 18 and 17 points apiece for the two Holidays, Aaron and Justin, the Indiana bench outscored Boston’s by an ugly 47-19 margin.
The 44 points for Walker marked his highest total since last April, when he dropped 47 against the Utah Jazz as a member of the Charlotte Hornets. Walker was efficient, shooting 16-for-28 from the field (57.1 percent) and 7-for-15 (46.7 percent) from three-point range. He also dished out seven assists in easily his most productive game as a Celtic.
The Celtics built a 30-21 lead late in the first, but the Pacers battled back in the second to take a 61-57 lead into halftime. The C’s had a resurgence with a 37-23 third quarter before Indiana flipped the script in the fourth.
Up Next: A quick turnaround and a tough challenge for the Celtics, who get the rival Philadelphia 76ers at TD Garden on Thursday night.