Rapid Recap: Cs overcome third-quarter woes to even up Pacers miniseries

Rapid Recap: Cs overcome third-quarter woes to even up Pacers miniseries

Celtics

Rapid Recap: Cs overcome third-quarter woes to even up Pacers miniseries

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At times it looked as if the Celtics’ second consecutive game against the Pacers might end in an excruciating loss like the first one did. Especially during a disastrous third quarter. But this time Boston was like, “Hey, what if we, like, didn’t let that ruin us?” What if we won 116-111?”

Of the 10 Boston players who took the floor in the contest, five hit double figures: Jayson Tatum (27-11-4 plus 3 steals), Jaylen Brown (20-2-2 plus 4 steals), Marcus Smart (17-1-5-1-1), Tristan Thompson (14-10-1) and Payton Pritchard (10-5-5-1). This was a full-team effort (and the screwups, when they happened, were also team-wide, but they recovered from them more effectively in-game). The Cs were ferocious on the boards when it counted in a way they simply weren’t in Sunday’s matchup, earning plenty of second-chance points as a result.

Let’s take a look at how it unfolded:

Brown also went hard on offense to start:

Smart decided he wanted in:

But even more importantly (in light of how the last game went), Boston put up intense pressure on the Indiana offense, which made the lead they built seem more solid:

Second quarter wasn’t quite as even, with the Pacers making up a lot of lost ground. We did see some cool shit from the bench, though:

Perhaps TODAY is White Boy Day. On a less enjoyable note, fans were displeased with Jayson’s slow-ish first half:

It was kinda logy, but still…

Personally I (and, I would hope, the Celtics) were more concerned with the Pacers shooting about as well in this game’s first half as the Cs were in the last game’s first half.

Also Victor Oladipo was back for Indiana, looking very much like his old self.

The remainder of Q2 played out like a brutal war of attrition, with the Pacers matching every Celtics punch. Lotta dudes for both teams clustered under the basket on every would-be rebound.

See? Tatum’s fine.

Third quarter comes around…historically a trouble spot for the Celtics…and this one did not buck that trend.

Counterpoint:

The twin-towers Theis/Thompson lineup was definitely questionable, but it kept giving us highlights.

Grant Williams didn’t see a lot of time but made the most of it:

But overall: Bad third quarter. Really, really bad. Pacers just kept canning shots and the Celtics seemed flabbergasted by it, unable to respond in any consistent fashion that could get a run started.

Then the switch flipped—big time.

Mind you, it wasn’t always pretty, but it worked:

Boston took the lead at the 6:28 mark of the fourth quarter on a Tatum free throw and never looked back. Indiana definitely kept things close—as Mike Gorman noted on the broadcast, contests between these teams are always close and tense—but Boston wanted and earned payback for the last game.

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