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The Journal Gazette

  • Associated Press Celtics guard Jaylen Brown goes to the basket past Pacers center Myles Turner during Friday's playoff game in Indianapolis.

Saturday, April 20, 2019 1:00 am

NBA Playoffs

Pacers' comeback falls short in Game 3

MICHAEL MAROT | Associated Press


Pacers vs. Boston

Eastern Conference quarterfinals

Best-of-7: Celtics lead 3-0

Game 1: Boston 84, Indiana 74

Game 2: Boston 99, Indiana 91

Game 3: Boston 104, Pacers 96

Game 4.: 1 p.m. Sunday at Indiana

Game 5: Wed. at Boston, TBD*

Game 6: Friday at Indiana, TBD*

Game 7: April 28 at Boston, TBD*

* If necessary

INDIANAPOLIS – Jaylen Brown scored 23 points and Kyrie Irving added 19 to help the Boston Celtics beat the Indiana Pacers 104-96 on Friday night for a 3-0 lead in the first-round series.

The Celtics can close out the Eastern Conference series Sunday in Indianapolis.

Irving also had 10 assists and five rebounds.

Tyreke Evans matched his career playoff high with 19 points for the Pacers. Bojan Bogdanovic had 15, not enough to prevent Indiana from losing its sixth straight to Boston in the regular season and playoffs.

Indiana desperately needed a win to avoid facing its second sweep in three years, but Boston started fast and closed it with a 10-4 spurt late in the fourth quarter.

And once again, Boston's defense turned the game by allowing just 12 points in the third quarter.

It's been that kind of series for Indiana, which erased a 15-point first half deficit to take a 61-59 halftime lead. Myles Turner opened the third with a 3-pointer to make it a five-point game.

But Boston charged back with eight straight points to retake the lead, closed the quarter on a 9-2 run to make it 80-73 and pulled away late.

The Celtics took control quickly by going 8 of 10 on 3s in the first quarter to build a 37-22 lead.

Evans finally got the Pacers righted with 12 second-quarter points including bookend 3s to start and finish the 17-3 spurt that allowed Indiana to tie it at 52. The Pacers closed the half on a 9-2 run to take the lead.

The Pacers' Domantas Sabonis had 12 points, seven rebounds and six assists while Thaddeus Young had 11 points and nine rebounds. Myles Turner scored 13 points, matching his total from the first two games of the series. Indiana wound up 11 of 30 on 3s after starting 8 of 15 and committed no turnovers in the second quarter.

Jayson Tatum had 18 points and seven rebounds and Al Horford finished with 16 points and eight rebounds for Boston.