NBA: Tatum, Holiday lead Celtics to overtime win over Pacers in East Finals Game 1

NBA: Tatum, Holiday lead Celtics to overtime win over Pacers in East Finals Game 1

The Boston Celtics came out of their Eastern Conference Final Game 1 at TD Garden with a hard-fought 133-128 overtime win over the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday night.

The top-seeded Celtics, who are in their third consecutive Conference Finals, needed a game-tying 3-pointer from Jaylen Brown with six seconds left on the clock in the fourth quarter to force overtime and open the series with a win on homecourt.

Although Boston led by three points after the first quarter, the Pacers matched them pound for pound to force a tie heading into the halftime break. The third and fourth quarters were the same, with both sides shifting leads, forcing the game into overtime.

Jayson Tatum led the Celtics with 36 points and 12 rebounds for his ninth double-double this postseason. The five-time All-Star added four assists and three steals, as well as shooting 12 of 26 from the field and 10 of 12 from the free throw line.

Jrue Holiday, who made the NBA All-Defensive Second Team, got 28 points, 7 rebounds, and eight assists for Boston as he shot 10 of 16 from the field and 4 of 8 from beyond the arc.

Brown, whose timely bucket was crucial for the Celtics, finished with 26 points, 7 rebounds, and five assists, while Al Horford and Derrick White settled for 15 points apiece, with the latter adding a team-high nine assists.

Boston weren’t particularly golden on the night, as they were outrebounded 44-43 by the Pacers, who also led the assist game 38-30 and were a whopping 53.5% from the field. However, the Celtics’ defense came up huge for them as they led the game in steals (11-8) and blocks (5-4) as well as forcing Indiana to 21 turnovers.

The visitors, who entered the tie off a dominant Game 7 win over the New York Knicks, had seven different scorers in double figures, as they were propelled by Tyrese Haliburton’s 25 points, 10 assists, and six 3-pointers.

Pascal Siakam added 24 points, 12 rebounds, and seven assists; Myles Turner added 23 points and 10 rebounds; the two other starters, Andrew Nembhard and Aaron Nesmith, combined for 26 points; and Obi Toppin and T.J. McConnell poured in 15 points and 11 points, respectively, off the bench.

The Celtics will look to increase their advantage, while the Pacers will hope to even the series when they return to TD Garden for Game 2 on Thursday night.

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