Celtics Survive Pacers’ Late Surge, Win Game 1 in Overtime Thriller

The Boston Celtics won Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals 133–128 in overtime, almost escaping an upset against the Indiana Pacers thanks to 36 points from Jayson Tatum and a crucial 3-pointer from Jaylen Brown.

After a late deficit was eliminated by Brown’s heroics with 6.1 seconds remaining in regulation, Tatum took over in overtime, scoring 10 of his total points. At 28, Jrue Holiday scored a season-high 28 points, which was another big contribution for the Celtics.

Tyrese Haliburton led the Pacers’ offensive display despite the loss with 25 points and 10 assists. Even without star player Kristaps Porzingis, they were able to stay in the game because to their onslaught in the paint and their ability to make baskets beyond the arc.

The pivotal moment occurred in the closing seconds of regulation when, behind by three points, the Pacers made two costly mistakes. After the second turnover, Brown took advantage of it by making a corner 3-pointer to tie the score and force overtime.

In the end, Brown, Tatum, and Holiday—three thefts apiece—led the Celtics’ defense, which proved to be vital. In NBA playoff history, this was the first time a team had three players with at least 25 points and three steals in one contest.

The competitiveness and intensity of the game were praised by both coaches. While Pacers coach Rick Carlisle accepted responsibility for his team’s late-game errors, Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla commended Brown for his composure under duress.

Despite the defeat, the Pacers were upbeat and determined to win in Game 2. They underlined the significance of learning from their mistakes while also highlighting their excellent performance throughout the game.

Conversely, the Celtics understood how critical it was to stay focused and not underestimate their opponents. They underlined how important it is to safeguard their home court advantage and stay away from complacency, which cost them in Game 2 of their last series.

Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals is scheduled for Thursday in Boston and promises to be an exciting continuation of the series.

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