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Celtics Edge Pacers in Overtime Thriller to Take Game 1 of Eastern Conference Finals

Posted : 22 May 2024

The Indiana Pacers, heavy underdogs in these Eastern Conference finals, had just triumphed over the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden 48 hours earlier to earn their spot in this series. With 10 seconds remaining and a three-point lead, they needed only to inbound the ball and sink a free throw to secure their victory.


However, the Pacers' misstep allowed the Celtics a chance to stay in the game. Jrue Holiday, who had a stellar performance with 28 points, 7 rebounds, 8 assists, and 3 steals, made a crucial inbounds pass to Jaylen Brown. Brown, positioned in the corner, nailed a three-pointer with 5.7 seconds left, tying the game and ultimately setting the stage for Boston's thrilling 133-128 overtime win to kick off the best-of-seven series.


Boston's dramatic comeback was a classic example of their resilience. Despite Jayson Tatum's struggles, shooting just 2-for-10 in the fourth quarter and overtime, he managed to deliver critical points in the final moments. Tatum finished with 36 points, contributing significantly to the Celtics' survival. The game was nearly lost due to turnovers and Indiana's effective exploitation of defensive mismatches, but Boston managed to hang on.


The Celtics had to overcome numerous challenges, including key turnovers and the absence of Kristaps Porzingis due to a calf strain. Despite these obstacles, they displayed remarkable mental toughness and poise. Looking ahead to Game 2, the Celtics aim to secure a win and take control of the series. As Jayson Tatum emphasized, the team's mindset is to avoid complacency and protect their home court, aiming for a stronger performance than in previous rounds.


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