The Boston Celtics travel to Indiana for their first game after the All-Star break to take on the Pacers, in what will be a rematch from late December when Boston was in a slump, losing to the Pacers 117-112 at the TD Garden.
This game featured no Marcus Smart for Boston and Tyrese Halliburton scoring 33-points and hitting six 3-pointers for Indiana. Payton Pritchard started this game in place of Smart and Rob Williams was still on a minutes restriction coming off the bench.
Jayson Tatum scored 41-points, shooting 13-of-25 from the field and 4-of-11 from behind the arc. The key for Tatum in this game was getting to the free throw line 13 times and knocking down 11 of them.
The Celtics were down 30-points during the second quarter and the Pacers went into halftime with a 71-43 lead.
Celtics head coach Joe Mazzulla acknowledged his team lacked the attention to details of the game plan and it cost them.
“We just didn’t play with a great sense of urgency, didn’t play with awareness and didn’t play with a sense of details.”
After this game, the Celtics went on to win 13 of their next 15 games, getting over their most recent slump en route to taking over the Eastern Conference.
It’s fair to say the Celtics figured it out near the end of December and throughout 2023 thus far, as they have the best record in the NBA at 42-17. Indiana isn’t facing the same team on Thursday they saw in December.
This will be a fun one at the Fieldhouse in Indiana on Thursday, especially after the All-Star break.
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Photo Credit: Brian Babineau, NBAE Getty Images