Boston finished the game shooting 36.7 percent from the field, with 20 turnovers. "I thought he played really big and strong". Game 1 will give us a good look at the individual matchups that will define the series but, on paper, nearly all of them go in the Celtics favor.
"Nothing special", Bogdanovic said before adding, "It's just playoff basketball".
The Celtics trailed by seven at halftime but held IN to just eight third-quarter points as they took control.
Morris, who was recently bumped from the starting lineup in favor of center Aron Baynes, nearly singlehandedly kept the Celtics afloat by scoring 12 of their next 14 points. IN scored 29 points in the second half, and the quarter and half were both its worst of the season.
The Indiana Pacers and Boston Celtics meet Wednesday in game two of the NBA Eastern Conference playoffs at the TD Garden. The Celtics capitalized and led by as many as 22 in the fourth. "If those shots fall Game 2, we're talking a different game".
The 74 points allowed were three fewer than the Celtics gave up to Chicago in their regular-season low. "We just didn't score enough", Indiana's Wesley Matthews said.
The Boston Celtics can take complete control of this series with a victory here and building a 2-0 lead. But transition defense remained an issue for the Pacers as the Celtics outscored IN 24-14 on the fastbreak. It plagued them in the first half, but by the third quarter it was the Pacers who were turning it over. "I appreciated that. I think we all did". "We were really playing hard".
One area they'll surely focus on is finding ways for Bojan Bogdanovic to get open looks.
But after Boston committed four turnovers in the first four minutes of the game, Stevens quickly adjusted, inserting Morris and Hayward.
While his team was able to recover from a dismal start, Stevens said the Pacers' defense deserved credit for making things hard on them throughout the game.
The change paid off with Morris going 3 of 4 in the period, including two 3-pointers, and scoring 12 points. Barring some extremely unforeseen events, once the Celtics make it past IN, they will face the Milwaukee Bucks, who have the NBA's best record, best point differential and, most importantly, Giannis Antetokounmpo, the league's best and most valuable player.
In his first playoff game as a Celtic, Irving became just third player in franchise history to have 20-plus points, five-plus assists and five-plus rebounds in his postseason debut with the team.