Playing the second half of a back-to-back and for a third time in four nights after a lengthy All-Star break, the Boston Celtics got run out of the gym Sunday as they fell to the Pacers on the road, 128-107.
The Celtics shot 12-for-43 from downtown and offered little defensive resistance as the hometown team stopped Boston’s seven-game road winning streak dead in its tracks.
Seven Pacers scored in double figures, led by Oshae Brissett with a season-high 27 points. Brissett buried six of his nine three-point attempts. Tyrese Halliburton had 22 points, making 4-of-5 from deep. Fellow ex-King Buddy Hield posted 21 points, while Malcolm Brogdon chipped in 20. Indiana shot 17-for-33 from downtown for the game.
Jayson Tatum paced Boston with 24 points on an unsightly 7-of-22 from the field. Jaylen Brown was more efficient (10-of-16) in scoring 23 points.
It was the highest total for a Boston opponent since a December 3rd loss against the Jazz.
A Halliburton triple to begin the second half produced a 14-point deficit, notably the largest one Boston has faced in a month. The Indy lead would balloon to 19 before the Green mustered a brief comeback to shave the deficit to seven. But Indiana reclaimed their double-digit halftime lead headed into the fourth.
The Pacers buried 12 first half threes, with Halliburton a perfect 4-for-4 from deep. They also attacked the basket for 10 free throw attempts to just four for Boston. The complacent Celtics shot 7-for-24 from deep in the opening 24 minutes as they fell behind 66-55 at the half.
Tatum’s early foul trouble limited him to just three minutes in the first quarter.
Al Horford sat Sunday with coach Ime Udoka looking to manage his minutes on the second half of a back-to-back.
The Celtics are back at TD Garden Tuesday night to host Atlanta. Coverage begins at 7:00 p.m. on 98.5 The Sports Hub.
Sean Sylver can be heard on 98.5 The Sports Hub. Talk hoops with him on Twitter @TheSylverFox.