The Boston Celtics have been at their finest this season when they’re forcing turnovers, spacing the ground and flattening exterior photographs.
They discovered of their win at residence towards the Pacers that they had been geared up to win an unsightly, bodily recreation as effectively.
Irving and Marcus Morris every scored 20 factors, and the Celtics rallied within the second half to beat the Indiana Pacers, 84-74, on Sunday in Recreation 1 of their first-round playoff sequence.
Jayson Tatum completed with 15 factors for fourth-seeded Boston, and Al Horford added 10 factors and 11 rebounds, and Gordon Hayward had 10 factors. It was the primary playoff recreation since 2017 for Irving and Hayward after every missed final 12 months’s postseason with accidents.
“I simply attempt to be aggressive on the ball, be in the fitting spots,” Irving stated. “I simply actually wish to be aggressive and actually be the pinnacle of the snake.”
Recreation 2 is Wednesday night time in Boston.
The fifth-seeded Pacers led by 11 factors within the first half however had simply eight within the third quarter. The Celtics capitalized and led by as many as 22 within the fourth. Indiana completed with a season-worst 29 factors within the second half.
Cory Joseph had 14 factors for the Pacers, and Bojan Bogdanovic was their lone starter in double figures with 12 factors.
Each groups shot worse than 40 p.c from the sphere. Boston hit simply 36 p.c (28 of 77) and had 20 turnovers. Indiana linked on 33 p.c of its photographs (28 of 84) and turned the ball over 13 occasions.
The Celtics’ 84 factors had been their fewest of the season; it was the primary time Boston scored fewer than 100 factors and gained.
“We held them to 84 factors,” Indiana’s Wesley Matthews stated. “We simply didn’t rating sufficient.”
TRAIL BLAZERS 104, THUNDER 99 Damian Lillard scored 30 factors and third-seeded Portland opened its Western Convention sequence towards sixth-seeded Oklahoma Metropolis Thunder with a win at residence.
Enes Kanter added 20 factors and a profession playoff-high 18 rebounds for the Blazers, who’re making their sixth straight postseason look. C J McCollum added 24 factors.
Russell Westbrook had 24 factors, 10 assists and 10 rebounds for his ninth profession postseason triple-double. Paul George, who was a game-time resolution due to a sore shoulder, added 26 factors and 10 rebounds after a gradual begin.
Portland led by as many as 19 factors within the first half, however the Thunder pulled to 80-77 early within the fourth quarter. Oklahoma Metropolis couldn’t get nearer, and Lillard hit a 30-footer to increase the Blazers’ result in 89-81 with 6 minutes 38 seconds left.
Westbrook appeared to harm his proper knee or ankle and grimaced whereas attempting to stroll it off. Trainers attended to him on the bench on the subsequent timeout however he returned.
It was the primary postseason assembly between the groups for the reason that Thunder moved from Seattle in 2008. Oklahoma Metropolis beat the Blazers in all 4 conferences this season, together with a heated 129-121 time beyond regulation victory on March 7.
The Thunder have been to the playoffs each season for the reason that transfer, however they haven’t made it previous the opening spherical for the previous two seasons.