Celtics survive Pacers in overtime thriller for East Finals head start

Published May 22, 2024, 12:16 PMPao Ambat

Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and Jrue Holiday became the first Celtics trio to score 25+ points in a Conference Finals game.

The trio of Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and Jrue Holiday combined for 90 points in the Celtics' Game 1 win.

Jaylen Brown brought life back to the Boston Celtics when needed the most, while Jayson Tatum finished the job. 

If this is any indication of what this East Finals slugfest will turn out to be, the best-of-seven series will be a good one. 

Tatum exploded for 34 points, while Brown drilled a clutch triple to send the game to overtime, as the Boston Celtics turned back a gritty Indiana Pacers, 133-128, in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference Finals series. 


Tatum took over late and dropped 10 points in the extended period, including a personal 6-0 run to turn a 123-121 deficit to a 127-123 lead.

After Obi Toppin trimmed the lead to three points at 131-128, Tatum, who finished with 12 rebounds, four assists, and three steals, iced the game with a pair of free throws. Boston nearly wasted an early 13-point lead, but managed to put away the Pacers.

However, all of this will not be possible if not for Jaylen Brown’s heroics, who drilled an off-balance, tightly-guarded corner triple over Pascal Siakam in the waning moments of regulation to tie the game at 117.

Brown came up with 26 markers, seven boards, and five dimes while Jrue Holiday had his best offensive game as a Celtic, chipping in a season-high 28 points--all while playing excellent defense on Pacers’ superstar guard Tyrese Haliburton.

Tatum, Brown and Holiday also became the first trio of teammates to score 25+ points and 3+ steals apiece in a playoff game. Al Horford and Derrick White added 15 each as the whole Celtics starters scored in double figures. 

 Game 2 of this series will be on Friday (PH time). 


 Boston, headed by Tatum's 11 third-quarter points, rode a 18-4 run to turn a 75-74 into a 92-79 lead with 3:23 seconds left. 


 That was before the Celtics opened the game on a 12-0 run for a dominating start. 


Meanwhile, Haliburton led the way for the Pacers with a double-double of 25 points and 10 assists while Pascal Siakam and Myles Turner combined for 47 markers and 22 rebounds. 


 Obi Toppin and T.J McConnell had another solid production off the bench with 15 and 13 points respectively but the Pacers faltered late. 


 After trailing 92-79, Indiana responded with a 14-2 blitz, capped off by a Haliburton double-pump, banking triple, to end the third canto and the deficit to a single point heading to the fourth, 94-93. 


That was before the superstar guard ended the opening half with a logo triple to tie things up at 64-apiece.