Celtics: Tatum scores 36, Brown hits 3 to force OT and Celtics edge Pacers 1...

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Published Time: 22.05.2024 - 18:05:28 Modified Time: 22.05.2024 - 18:05:28

It gave his team a new life and helped it hang on to home-court advantage with Game 2 set for Thursday in Boston. Celtics, pacers vs celtics, Pacers, Boston Celtics, celtics vs pacers, Jaylen Brown

Jrue Holiday added a season-high 28 points and Brown finished with 26.

“Welcome to the NBA playoffs. You've just got to manage your emotions. Anything can happen,” Brown said of his tying 3. “It's not over until the final buzzer sounds. ... It's not over until it's over. We found a way to win the game at the very end.”

It gave his team a new life and helped it hang on to home-court advantage with Game 2 set for Thursday in Boston.

But guarding against complacency was also on the mind of Tatum. The Celtics have lost Game 2 in each of their previous two series.

“It doesn’t prove anything,” Tatum said. “We won a big-time game. The series is far from over.”

Tyrese Haliburton had 25 points and 10 assists for the Pacers, who knocked down 13 3-pointers and scored 56 points in the paint against a Celtics team still playing without 7-footer Kristaps Porzingis.

But Boston dialed up its defense, finishing with 11 steals — three each by Brown, Tatum and Holiday. The Celtics become the first team in NBA playoff history to have three players record 25 points and three steals in a game.

The Celtics were cold for most of the game from 3-point range, but ended the night 15 of 45 from beyond the arc.

“We keep talking protecting home court,” Celtics forward Al Horford said. “It’s whatever it takes.”

Pascal Siakam added 24 points and 12 rebounds. Myles Turner finished with 23 points and 10 rebounds for the sixth-seeded Pacers, who twice turned it over with a three-point lead in the final 30 seconds of regulation.

Brown made them pay for the second one, hitting a 3 from the corner with Siakam right in his face to tie it at 117.

“Jrue made a good pass, (Derrick White) set a great screen and the rest is history,” Brown said.

Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla like the poise Brown showed.

"Jaylen had great balance," he said. “Great pass, great shot.”

Pacers coach Rick Carlisle said the loss was "totally on me" for not calling a timeout to advance the ball before their turnover that set up Brown's shot.

Asked the 21 turnovers Indiana committed, Haliburton said many of them were preventable.

“I think it’s more on us,” he said. “I just felt like more of them were probably on us than them forcing turnovers.”

The Celtics are now 2-2 when their opponent scores 100 or more points.

Holiday said the Celtics never panicked after falling behind late in regulation

“I think we always knew that there’s always a chance. We’ve seen crazy stuff happen all the time,” Holiday said. “I don’t think that we think we lost the game until we actually lost the game and that’s part of the reason why we were so resilient.”

Indiana went back ahead 123-121 when Haliburton hit all three free throws after being fouled with 1:46 remaining. Tatum then muscled in a layup and was fouled by T.J. McConnell. He completed the three-point play to put Boston ahead for good.