The Boston Celtics knew that beating the Indiana Pacers in Game One of their first-round series would not be easy. However, they also knew that they could do it if they could manage to bring their ‘A’ game. But, as it turns out, they just needed to bring their defense.
Boston’s offense struggled against a very tough Indiana defense, but their defense made Indiana’s offense struggle even more. In the end, the Celtics were able to walk away with a ten-point win in a very low scoring game, 84-74.
At first, things were looking okay for the Pacers as they got out to an early 12-6 lead. But the Celtics were able to get back into the game and tie the score up at 20-20 heading into the second quarter. However, a quick 9-2 run to open the second saw the Pacers take a seven-point lead—which is what it stood at heading into halftime, 45-38.
But then the Celtics took over the game.
Whatever Brad Stevens told the Celtics at halftime worked. They needed a little over three minutes to tie the game up. But the good times kept rolling, and the Celtics pushed the lead out to 11-points by the end of the quarter, 64-53.
Of course, it helped that the Pacers couldn’t buy a shot during the quarter making only two of 19 attempts.
Indiana went on a 12-0 to end the game, but by then, the damage had been done, and Boston still won by ten.
Celtics center Al Horford was complimentary of both squads after the game:
“Both teams are really locking in on the things that we want to do. Our tendencies and things like that. They just did a good job defensively, and so did we, 84-74, that’s old school right there.”
Kyrie Irving led the way for the Celtics with 20 points as did Marcus Morris. Jaylen Brown got the start for the injured Marcus Smart but only recorded a single basket.
Cory Joseph led the Pacers with 14 points off the bench.
Both teams will be trying hard to figure out how to generate more offense before they play Game Two in Boston Wednesday night.