Defensively, Indy is still one of the best clubs in the league, but its lack of a go-to scorer has hurt it dearly in this current playoff series against the Celtics, as the Pacers dropped the first two games of this series mainly due to their lack of offense.
In Game 2, Boston seized on a fourth-quarter collapse by Indiana.
Jayson Tatum buried a go-ahead 3-pointer with 50.8 seconds remaining Wednesday night, allowing the host Boston Celtics to overcome a late Indiana Pacers flurry and pull out a 99-91 victory in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference first-round playoff series. However, the Pacers appeared primed to even the series when Wesley Matthews and Bojan Bogdanovic combined for three 3-pointers in a 70-second spurt, allowing in to retake a 91-89 advantage with 2:16 to go.
Another turnover resulted in the Celtics being up 97-91 with 5.7 seconds left.
As Knicks president Steve Mills was putting a happy face on a 65-loss season and wisely turning the calendar to May, June and especially July, the Kyrie Irving Free Agency Meter swung dramatically in the Boston Celtics' favor.
"It's pretty peaceful", Irving said of having his first memorable playoff performance while playing for the Celtics.
"It's just been a long journey", Irving said. It's just been a long journey having those two knee surgeries and watching the team previous year.
The Celtics had a 31-12 fourth quarter led them to the win on Wednesday.
"It's always been one quarter that kills us in the second half", Thaddeus Young said. "We need to put together 48 consistent minutes". Bojan Bogdanovic led IN with 23 points, and Thaddeus Young had 15. Kawhi Leonard led the way with 37 points on 15-of-22 shooting to pace Toronto and now the series shifts to Orlando. The Pacers have to get Myles Turner, Darren Collison and Domantas Sabonis going to have a chance in this series.
Game 3 is Friday in Indiana.
The Bucks also went 2-0 up in their first-round series with the Detroit Pistons as Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 13 of his 26 points in a big third quarter for Milwaukee big third quarter. IN hung tough in the first half, scoring 33 points in the opening quarter to take a four-point edge.
My colleague Andy Nesbitt broke down the final minute of the game in which the Celtics were down two and somehow WON by eight.
Bogdanovic hit a 3-pointer from virtually the same spot as Matthews to put the Pacers back in front. IN clearly misses Victor Oladipo at this point of the season. Boston hopes that another day off between games will help get Al Horford healthy: he gutted out 37 minutes in Game 2 despite being ill but wasn't a major factor. He was noticeably a step slower at the outset and didn't' take his first shot until late in the second quarter.
Horford had 10 points, 11 rebounds and 5 assists in Boston's Game 1 win on Sunday. "It was a gritty win". The Pacers have scored under 100 in four of their last five games, all losses.
"He's going to try to give it a go", Celtics coach Brad Stevens said. It marked just was just third of the season.
It was a much closer game than Boston's prior contest, which saw both teams struggling to shoot from the field. In the fourth, the Pacers went through a scoreless stretch of 7:54 to turn a 12-point lead into a four-point hole before regrouping one last time.