Celtics use second-half defense to down Pacers in Game 1

Celtics vs Pacers Playoff Series Predictions

Celtics vs Pacers Playoff Series Predictions

Both teams play defense (Indiana ranks No. 3 in defensive efficiency, Boston No. 6), and that's reflected in the lowest Game 1 total this weekend at 209.5. The Indiana Pacers are averaging 74 points on 33.3 percent shooting and allowing 84 points on 36.4 percent shooting.

After two more turnovers and two more missed shots, making the Pacers 0-for-11 at that point with five turnovers, Joseph finally dropped in a layup with 3:28 left in the period for the Indiana's first basket of the half.

Boston's big run started with a dunk by Jaylen Brown (check it out below), but Irving dominated the third quarter, dropping eight points and dishing out three assists while the Pacers scored just eight points on 2-for-19 shooting.

Celtics: Outrebounded the Pacers 55-42. The Indiana Pacers have lost seven of their last nine road games.

IN led by as many as 11 in the first half before Boston opened the third quarter with a 22-3 run to take a 60-48 lead. Boston rallied back thanks to Marcus Morris - his 12 first-quarter points kept the Celtics even at 20-20 after the first 12 minutes.

Al Horford recorded a 10-point, 11-rebound double-double for the Celtics, while Jayson Tatum chipped in with 15 points and Gordon Hayward had 10. The Boston Celtics are shooting 35.7 percent from beyond the arc and 81.8 percent from the free throw line.

Bird, the "Hick from French Lick" was one of the most dominant players of his era, routinely leading the Boston Celtics to the NBA Finals where he would win three times and win three consecutive NBA MVP awards.

While you can totally win games with defense, I'd like to see Boston hit some shots in Game 2. It entered Week 26 of the 2018-19 National Basketball Association season with a sterling 292-234 record on all top-rated picks, returning more than $4,000 in profit to anybody following them. Domantas Sabonis was held to 7 points on 3 of 9 shooting, while Myles Turner had 5 points on 2-6 shooting. Since Victor Oladipo went down for the season, the Pacers always seem to have a stretch in the game where nothing falls and scoring becomes almost impossible. The Pacers also made just six of their 27 3-point attempts. While it's just one game, the Boston Celtics seem to be playing with that pep in their step again, and they're one of the scariest teams in the league when playing to their full potential.

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