Celtics take 3-0 series lead in ECF

Written by: William Petersen

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The Boston Celtics are one win away from reaching their second NBA Finals appearance in three seasons after coming back from 18 down to beat the Indiana Pacers 114-111. Indiana was without star point guard Tyrese Haliburton who suffered a hamstring injury in Game 2 on Thursday. The Pacers held their own without their All-Star point guard, getting quality minutes from Andrew Nembhard who had a career high 32 points on 4-7 shooting from three in a game that was ultimately decided by two late steals and an and-1 from Jrue Holiday to give Boston a 3-0 series lead. Indiana’s roster stepped up for ⅘ of a game that was a must win and ended up choking in the dying embers of game that the Pacers should have won by double digits. Give the Boston starters credit as all five finished with double figures in scoring, led by superstar Jayson Tatum who finished two assists shy of a triple-double, 36 points, 10 rebounds, 8 assists, in a win they easily could have given up on after being down nearly 20 with eight minutes left in the third quarter.

Boston’s starting five made all the headlines in tonight’s nail biting win after they scored 110 out of their 114 total points. Tatum’s 36 point performance was the cherry on top of a comeback win that involved all five starters. Al Horford had his best game of the playoffs, finishing with 23 points on 7-12 shooting from behind the arc. Without big Al the Celtics would have had a much more difficult time climbing back into this game as he hit a three whenever the Celtics needed it and kept the floor spaced for a Celtics squad that likes to swing the ball. Jaylen Brown contributed 24 points on 10-18 shooting and 1-5 from three in a game where him and Tatum switched roles from Game 2. Besides Horford’s efficient shooting and Tatum leading the game in scoring, Jrue Holiday showed his playoff and championship experience by forcing turnovers late in the game which eventually led into the go ahead and-1 layup that would propel Boston to give Indiana their first home loss of the playoffs. Boston looks primed to win their first NBA Championship since 2008.