Kyrie Irving dedicates Celtics’ win over Pacers to Marcus Smart

NBA Playoff Previews Boston Celtics vs. Indiana Pacers

The Pacers finished just 28-for-72 (37.8 percent) from the field, despite going an admirable 10-for-25 (35.7 percent) from three-point range.

Wednesday's clash with Boston gives the Pacers another shot at stealing homecourt advantage from the fourth-seeded Celtics before the series shifts back to IN for Games 3 and 4. He just really shapes our team really well, and we all had to pick up for him tonight. The Celtics outscored the Pacers 26-8 in the third, as in missed its first 11 shots, committed five turnovers and didn't get credit for a field goal until the 3:28 mark of the period - and that came on a goaltending call.

Morris, who was recently bumped from the starting lineup in favor of center Aron Baynes, nearly singlehandedly kept the Celtics afloat by scoring 12 of their next 14 points. The 29 points that IN scored IN the second half were its worst of the season. The absence of Smart, who is out for several more weeks because of an oblique injury, loomed large; the Celtics, playing without one of the league's best perimeter defenders and one of its most fiery competitors, looked a step slow and oddly disengaged.

Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving (11) controls the ball while center Aron Baynes (46) blocks Indiana Pacers forward Domantas Sabonis (11) during the second half in game one of the first round of the 2019 NBA Playoffs at TD Garden. The Boston Celtics are averaging 84 points on 36.4 percent shooting and allowing 74 points on 33.3 percent shooting. "We just didn't make shots in that third quarter".

"We held them to 84 points".

IN led by as many as 11 in the first half before Boston opened the third quarter with a 22-3 run to take a 60-48 lead.

Boston's offense finally came alive in the third quarter when they played with some gosh darned PACE! "I appreciated that. I think we all did".

One area they'll surely focus on is finding ways for Bojan Bogdanovic to get open looks.

"They missed some shots, but we were really connected", he said. Those happen to be Indiana Pacers colors as well, but it was all green on Sunday at the start of what Celtics fans hope is a long postseason run. "But that third quarter really killed us".

The 12 points in the opening 12 minutes marked Morris's highest scoring output in any quarter this season. And of those 12 points, five came after Brad Stevens had emptied the Celtics' bench.

"They have incredible defenders on their team", Irving said. I love getting a lot of points in a relatively low-scoring game as points are at a premium.

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