The Indiana Pacers have not been a great road team this season. Over the remainder of the year, numberFire's models project him to record 20.5 points, 10.4 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 0.9 steals, and 2.1 blocks per contest.
It certainly didn't look good for the Pacers early on. The struggled continued in the second as Celtics stretched the lead out to ten-points, 50-40, at halftime.
Irving told reporters after the game that he would like to come back at full strength or as near as he can get to it. But they also needed more from everyone else. It would help if something could break in Indiana's favor, but it wouldn't matter if Oladipo couldn't find his shot.
Celtics were already without Al Horford due to illness and Jaylen Brown, who suffered a concussion after crashing hard on the floor following a dunk in the third quarter against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Thursday and Irving's absence in the second-half saw them overthrow a 12-point lead against the resurgent Pacers.
The Pacers outscored Boston 34-20 in the third quarter.
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Rozier drilled a 3-pointer out of a timeout with 1:02 left, Smart rebounded a miss as the clock ticked under a minute to play and Tatum got the line for a tie game with 36.5 seconds remaining. With fans heading for the exits, Tatum hit a seemingly meaningless layup to cut the deficit to two points with only 1.5 seconds left. At this point, it should have been game over.
Victor Oladipo scored a game-high 27 points but committed a dead ball offensive foul that gave Boston a last second chance to win it.
"We talk about being calm, and being poised", said IN head coach Nate McMillan (ESPN). "Everybody was flying to move quickly, and it nearly cost us". "At the end of the day that is what we want to be".
Myles Turner scored inside posting on Marcus Morris for a 97-95 lead with 21 ticks left.
Irving said he was "not concerned" this is a long-term injury and that he hopes surgery will not eventually be needed. When I actually do get back on the floor, I want to feel the level I expect myself to be at and I want to play at and being able to sustain it. "That's the last thing I want to do right now".
"I think (rest) will probably be the best thing, just instead of kind of hoping it gets better over the two or three days than it usually does". They next visit the Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday.