Friday night’s Celtics vs. Pacers game was one of the first times in the last couple of weeks the Celtics have looked like a somewhat good NBA team. Boston took down the Pacers 118-112 in a game where Kemba Walker led the team with 32 points on 10/19 shooting. The Celtics had lost their last three games to the Pelicans, Mavericks, and Hawks. The Celtics vs. Pacers game was a must-win for the Celtics, with the win, Boston moved to 16-17 on the season.
Celtics vs. Pacers 1st Half
The first half of the first quarter in the Celtics vs. Pacers game was a complete disaster for the Celtics. At one point, the Pacers held an 18-4 lead. The Pacers killed the Celtics with three-pointers to start the game. After the horrid start, the Celtics finally picked it up, much to Celtics fans’ relief.
The Celtics’ run, led by point guard Kemba Walker, ended up with Boston taking a one-point lead into the second quarter. Walker finished the first quarter with 10 points and 2 assists. Although Boston didn’t start the game off like they would’ve wanted to, just like in the Mavericks game, Boston again showed that they could come back from big deficits in a short amount of time.
The Pacers held a very slim lead for the first few minutes of quarter number two and then lost, leading to the Celtics with 9:11 left in the period. Boston, however, kept the lead for pretty much the rest of the quarter. The Celtics’ biggest lead in that quarter was only six points with 4:28 to go before halftime. Walker had another solid quarter for the Celtics notching eight points to put his halftime total at 18. Heading into the locker room, the Celtics had a 61-60 lead.
Celtics vs. Pacers 2nd Half
Indiana never had a lead in the second half, but Boston could never run away with the game and put the Pacers to sleep. Because the Pacers stayed in the game, crunchtime of Celtics vs. Pacers was pretty exciting and nerve-racking if you were a Celtics or Pacers fan.
A Domantas Sabonis layup with 1:23 left in the game cut the Celtics lead down to three, on the next possession Jaylen Brown had a good opportunity on a drive to the rim from the corner. On Browns’ attack to the rim, his foot clipped the sideline to give the Pacers the ball back with 1:10 left.
The moment that’s going to give Pacer fans nightmares came on the following possession. After some good ball movement, Justin Holiday got a wide-open look from three to tie up the game. Holiday missed the look, which gave the Celtics the ball back after a nice rebound from Robert Williams. The Celtics pretty much iced the game when Walker drove to the rim and kicked it out for a Daniel Theis three-pointer. One interesting thing that happened in that play was Walker sending the ball to Theis and not to the struggling star Jayson Tatum who was also wide open.
Celtics vs. Pacers: The Positives
Kemba Walker’s amazing game headlines the positive section. Walker was clearly the best player out there for the Celtics on Friday night with his 32 point game. Walker also had 6 assists while going 4-10 from three. Walker who has been rumored in a lot of trade scenarios went out there and showed the Celtics to not give up on him yet. We will see if Walker can keep up this kind of play, if he can the Celtics can expect to see lots more wins in the win column.
Robert Williams was also a big positive during the game. Rob finished the game with 14 points, 11 rebounds, and 3 assists while doing lots of dirty work that no one else wants to do. Williams, who has seen some increased minutes in the last few games thanks to his great play and hustle, can expect to see even more rotation time after this great showing. Williams, who could be the best big man on the Celtics, was one of the main reasons the Celtics snapped their losing streak.
Celtics vs Pacers: The Negatives
Once again Jayson Tatum had a tough night. Tatum went 4-18 from the field with only nine points in the entire game. Tatum, who is apparently still dealing with the after-effects of COVID-19 had only 13 points in the Celtics game vs. the Hawks on Wednesday.
Hopefully, Tatum can get back on track soon because without their star player playing well, the Celtics will definitely not be going far in the playoffs. Like I mentioned earlier, the Celtics had a horrible start to the game. In the past few games, the Celtics have had some struggles hitting their shots at the beginning of the games. Although the Celtics won, they need to be better out of the jump.
Celtics vs. Pacers Player Stats
What’s Next for the Celtics?
After the big win in the Celtics vs. Pacers game, the Celtics only have three more games before the All-Star Game. Another game against the Wizards on Sunday, a national TV game on Tuesday against the Clippers, and a game against the Raptors on Thursday. After the All-Star break, the Celtics will start the second half of their season on Thursday, March 11, versus the Nets.
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