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Boston Shows Heart of Champions; Rallies to Beat Indiana, 114-111

By Teodoro Medina Reynoso
PhilBoxing.com
Sun, 26 May 2024



Indiana knew it had to win game 3 at home to not fall into a hole no team had crawled out from. So the Pacers demonstrated a sense of urgency that allowed them to race to double digit leads until the opening of the final quarter of the game.

But such sense of urgency never reckoned Boston's hearts of champion that allowed the Celtics to claw their way from behind to win, 114-111 to take a commanding 3-0 lead in the Eastern Conference Finals over the Pacers.

Such indomitable spirit was characterized by Jrue Holiday who scored five points plus a steal in the last 40 seconds to seal the comeback win from a 111-109 deficit.

Utilizing its ceiling and length advantage to score mostly in the paint complemented by outside sniping, Indiana in many occasions had threatened to break the game open, posting its largest lead, 84-66 midway through the third period.

Instrumental in the surge were big men Pascal Siakam, Myles Turner and Obi Toppin who were helped out by the shooting of Andrew Nembhard, TJ McConnel and Aaron Nesmith.

The Pacers were even able to rotate in Doug McDermontt and Isiah Jackson to keep the pressure inside.

However, Boston kept on plugging in to keep the lead within reach for the remainder of the third quarter and early stages of the final 12 minutes.

Helping in keeping the Pacers’ leads manageable was the Celtics defense that produced a team high 12 blocks with Al Horford and Jason Tatum frustrating their big men in and around the paint while Holiday, Jaylen Brown and Derreck White bothering the three points shooters.

Boston likewise had 7 steals and forced 11 possession changes that helped in cutting into the Pacers lead.

The Celtics also fielded Xavier Tillman and Oshae Brissett, both 6-7 to support Horford and somehow neutralize Indiana's height advantage.

Boston managed to cut the 101-92 Pacers lead with still 4 minutes left through Horford, Holiday and Brown to 109-103.

Tatum hit a triple to make it 109-106. After Nembhard free throws made it 111-106, Horford banged a triple to make it 111-109.

Holiday scored on a layup with foul to boot from Siakam. Holiday hit the extra shot to give Boston the lead 112-111.

Holiday later pushed the Celtics farther, 114-111 with another trip to the free throw line with only 2 ticks left on desperation foul by Siakam. This after stealing the ball from Nembhard off a Tatum miss rebound.

Nesmith missed a last ditch triple at the buzzer.

Siakam and Nembhard who were looking like heroes earlier proved to be the game's goats for Indiana while Holiday who could not seem to get going at the start and had to be replaced many times, emerged as the hero for Boston. He typified Boston's heart of champions.

Tatum topped for Boston with 36 points and 10 rebounds. Brown scored 24 points, Horford made his presence felt with 23 points and 5 rebounds. Holiday
shoot 14 points, the last 5 in the last 40 seconds and White added 13 points.

On Indiana's side the loss wasted Nembhard's 32 points and McConnell's 23 points efforts. Likewise the 22 points each of Siakam and Turner.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Teodoro Medina Reynoso.

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