Celtics Throw Away Winnable Game Against Pacers

A series of bad plays down the stretch spoiled an otherwise solid effort as the Celtics fall to the Pacers 102-101.

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The Celtics kicked off a 5 game road trip on a sour note giving a game away to the Indiana Pacers with some poor play down the stretch.

The Celtics withered in the game’s final moments, specifically the final 3 possessions. Kyrie Irving missed a layup with the Celtics up two and time winding down. Boston then allowed Pacers guard Victor Oladipo to pull up for an uncontested 3 to give Indiana a 102-101 lead with 3.4 seconds left.

You can see in the video Brad Stevens screaming at Kyrie Irving to get up on Oladipo but Irving took a passive approach allowing the Pacers star to rise up and knock down what ultimately proved to be the game wining shot.

The Celtics did not even get a shot at taking back the lead as Gordon Hayward’s inbound pass attempt to Jayson Tatum came up way short and was intercepted. Hayward had not been in the game prior to making the errant pass.

Before collapsing down the stretch the Celtics looked like they had the game on lock down. Irving knocked down back to back 3s giving the Celts a 4 point lead 101-97. As a team Boston knocked down 19 3-pointers a couple nights after setting a franchise record with 24. Despite all the 3s the Celts only managed to score 101 points.

“Our 3s aren’t the problem as much as our two point shooting and the fact that we’re not strong enough around the rim,” head coach Brad Stevens told reporters after the game. “And hopefully we can get a little bit better in those regards as a team. Our two point shooting is maybe the most concerning.”

OTHER GAME NOTES

  • One night after finishing with 18 points and looking all around more involved in all facets of the game, Gordon Hayward laid an egg against Indiana scoring only 4 points on 2 of 10 shooting. One of the two made field goals was an alley-oop slam in transition off a Terry Rozier pass, which was nice to see.
  • Marcus Morris was outstanding again off the bench, leading the Celtics in scoring with 24 points in 33 minutes. It’s Morris’ 7th game of 15+ points which ties him for the most by a reserve in the NBA this season. Morris has scored 15+ points in each of his last five games.
  • Wonder if Jayson Tatum has heard some of the criticism of his shot selection (including on the Garden Report on CLNS Media). Of Tatum’s 11 shots 8 were from long range of which he made 4 finishing with 14 points on the night

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Mkqm6_LFNw

  • Aron Baynes only took three shots on the night which is not that strange. They were all 3 pointers, which is strange. He made two of them.
  • Kyrie Irving only took 12 shots (3rd most on the team) and played 27 minutes (5th most on the team.) That just doesn’t seem right.

The Celtics next play in Denver on Monday.

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