Recap: KYRIE CLOSES out the Pacers

In a nutshell

Well, this is going to be one entertaining playoff series. It was a dogfight but in the end, the best player on the court made the biggest play of the game. Kyrie Irving froze two Pacers as he drove to the hoop for the game-winning basket with 0.5 seconds remaining. The 114-112 victory propelled Boston into the 4th seed in the Eastern Conference and home court for an opening round matchup with Indiana.

Irving (30 points, 11-22 FGs, 5 assists, 3 steals, +15) was having an erratic, almost Rozier-like final quarter until he unleashed the dazzling drive to win the game.

What went right

Brad Stevens went back to the Aron Baynes/Al Horford starting line-up and it paid off. The duo combined for 32 points, 20 rebounds, and 4 blocks.

Boston attacked the basket (54 points in the paint) all night. They also pushed the pace (26 fastbreak points).

How about Jaylen Brown? 16 points on 7-10 FG. He was in attack mode all night. More proof: he attempted one 3 FG.

Sometimes you need a little luck in close games and the Celtics got some when Thaddeus Young missed a point-blank lay-up with 42 seconds remaining.

What went wrong

Bojan Bogdanovic lit up the Celtics for 27 points on 8-13 FG. It was a performance that reminded some of us older fans of Chuck “The Rifleman” Person.

Indiana had 14 offensive rebounds and 20 second-chance points. Tommy Heinsohn kept harping on the Celtics inability or outright refusal to block-out. It’s truly a lost art in today’s NBA.

Boston’s bench struggled defensively. Brown, Morris, Hayward, and Rozier churned out 35 points but were a combined -40

Highlights

Smart with the heave!

Baynes drops the hammer!

Marcus with the hustle!

Box score