Isaiah Thomas follows up his 44 point performance with 26 points and 9 assists, leading the Celtics to a 109-102 win in Indiana.
After a sloppy first quarter, Brad Stevens decided to try some new lineups to spark a comeback by putting Kelly Olynyk, Jonas Jerebko, Jae Crowder, Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart on the floor. This group is more of a defensive approach but played hard on both ends and ended up getting the Celtics a 51-40 halftime lead. Boston forced 12 turnover and held the Pacers to 33% shooting, including 1-9 form behind the 3-point line at the half. Indiana’s defense also allows the most 3-point attempts in the NBA and the Celtics’ game plan was clearly to take advantage of that, as they shot 8-26 from 3-point range in the first half.
Boston built up a lead as high as 17-points in the third quarter and had a commanding leading heading into the 4th quarter. Just when you thought they had Indiana on the ropes; they came back swinging as the Celtics got sloppy. Boston also had a lot of early fouls as well and allowed the Pacers to bring themselves right back into the game. Thankfully Boston’s signature players; Thomas, Bradley, Smart and Crowder woke up late in the 4th quarter and shut the Pacers off as they locked in on both ends.
Isaiah Thomas led the way but Avery Bradley and Jae Crowder each had 15 points, Marcus Smart had 12 and Amir Johnson and Kelly Olynyk each ended with 11. Jeff Teague led all scorers with 31 points and dished out 8 assists as well and Paul George and Cj Miles scored 19 a piece but it wasn’t enough as the Celtics were well-rounded when it counted.
Indiana put together a convincing comeback bid but couldn’t quite catch the Celtics down the stretch when their offense turned it up a notch. Boston comes away with their fourth straight win heading into a tough game on Friday night, when the Oklahoma City Thunder and Russel Westbrook come to town.