The Boston Celtics went into Indiana last night with a 25-7 record. Lately, the Cs have had some difficulty with their second unit, and were exposed in the loses against the Bulls and Jazz. Kyrie Irving missed the game against the Bulls, and they’ve been without the productivity of Marcus Morris due to his troublesome knee. And though the Celtics won against the Grizzlies 102-93, Brad Stevens has been determined to find the right combination to remedy their second unit troubles.
Fixing the Second Unit
There was no shortage of scoring in Indiana last night. The Celtics came out blazing, closing out the first quarter with a 17-point lead. Brad took Jayson Tatum and Al Horford out early, leading many to believe they were going to be used to spark the second unit. That did indeed happen and boy, did it help. The Cs put up 24 points in the second quarter, an improvement compared to the 17 they put up against the Grizzlies on Saturday. The bench contributed 37 points, with Marcus Smart going 5-6 and 4-4 from three for 15 points.
Down to the Wire
After having that 17-point lead at halftime, the Pacers had a second half comeback led by the surge of Victor Oladipo. Indiana outscored Boston in both the third and fourth quarter by 14. They tied the game at 100 a piece with 1:52 left to play and took the lead going into the final seconds of the game. Kyrie Irving made two clutch threes, putting the Cs within reach with 10 seconds left to play. The Pacers used their final timeout, and it was Bogdanovic’s job to make the inbound pass. Well, Terry Rozier made sure he was there to challenge that pass. He made the steal and completed the breakaway dunk, putting the Cs up 112-111 with 1 second left.
It was definitely the most exciting win of the season for Boston, who moves to 26-7 on the year. They lead the Cavs by just two games, with two back-to-backs coming up to close out 2017. Meanwhile, the Cavs get a healthy 1-2 days in between the rest of their match ups.
Don’t miss the Celtics return home to play the Heat on Wednesday night @ 7:30. This will no doubt be a chance for payback after Miami ended the 16- game streak. Let’s go Celtics!