The Boston Celtics were unable to outlast the Indiana Pacers on Sunday in a back-and-forth battle that took every second of regulation to decide. This was just the third game for either team in the early going of the 2020-21 NBA season.
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This was the Celtics' second chance at a last-minute victory in their last two games, having won their last matchup against the Milwaukee Bucks on a wild, game-winning 3-pointer from Jayson Tatum. The Celtics fell to 1-2 on the season with this loss, while the Pacers improved to 3-0. Domantas Sabonis was the hero for the Pacers, hitting a go-ahead driving layup and drawing the foul with 8.4 seconds to go. He missed the free throw, leaving it as a 1-point game, but Jayson Tatum couldn't connect on a 28-footer as Indiana remained unbeaten.
Indiana Pacers fight off the Boston Celtics and complete their comeback victory
The Pacers are battling injuries this year, and played this game without their star point guard, Victor Oladipo. Oladipo missed tonight's game due to a right knee injury, but is day-to-day moving forward. The Pacers have a very talented offensive team, and showed their potential in tonight's win over a strong Boston Celtics team.
The Boston Celtics started off the game on fire, taking an early 15-4 lead in the first quarter. But the offensive onslaught of the Celtics would quickly cool down, and the Pacers found themselves creeping back in to the game.
Indiana Pacers hold on with the help of Domantas Sabonis
The Indiana Pacers hit the clutch shots when it mattered, and were able to play excellent defense down the stretch to ensure their victory. The Pacers currently sit on top of the Eastern Conference, and will only get stronger as their players return to full health. The star of the game, Domantas Sabonis, finished with 19 points, 10 rebounds and five assists.
Ultimately, the Indiana Pacers proved that their offense can produce efficiently with or without Victor Oladipo. The Boston Celtics will have to work on their offense if they want to compete with the strong teams of the Eastern Conference.
The Indiana Pacers will again play host to the Boston Celtics in their next game (part of the NBA's unique scheduling format this season to reduce travel due to COVID-19) with a chance to knock the Celtics down to 1-3. The Pacers will hope to have Victor Oladipo available for their next matchup with the Celtics on Tuesday, December 29th at 7 PM ET. For the time being, the Pacers will be celebrating this close victory and their undefeated start to the season.Published 28 Dec 2020, 09:40 IST