Kyrie Irving 'looking forward to challenge' of Game 3 in Indiana


The fifth-seeded Indiana Pacers are on the road as they travel to face the fourth-seeded Boston Celtics in Game 2 of their best of seven set Wednesday night.

Boston forward Al Horford, who had been iffy for the game after missing the morning shootaround due to an illness, was able to put in 37 minutes, contributing a game-high 10 rebounds and four points to the win. If he is unable to play, Marcus Morris would be the most likely candidate to reenter the starting lineup in his place. The 22-year-old had done so, of course, by firing a cross-court assist to Jayson Tatum with less than a minute left in Boston's 99-91 Game 2 victory.

Boston will get its opportunity in Friday's Game 3.

It was also pretty bad for anyone who bet on the Pacers and a minus-7.5-point spread.

A Tatum jumper tied things at 46 with 1:39 left, followed by the C's taking their first lead since the early first quarter on a Tatum dunk with 43 seconds left. Most of their looks were well defended, but they went freezing cold as the Celtics went on a 16-0 run, during which they took a late fourth-quarter lead. For a moment, IN made that third-quarter letdown a distant memory, outscoring Boston 29-16 IN the third quarter of Game 2 to take an 11-point lead into the fourth. Bojan Bogdanovic led IN with 23 points, and Thaddeus Young had 15.

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Evans made it a 12-point game again with a 3-pointer 40 seconds into the final period before Boston tightened the screws defensively and scored the game's next 16 points to go up 86-82.

"It wasn't just about putting points on the board, it was just about doing the little things", Irving said.

On the back of their huge third quarter, the Bucks have taken a 2-0 series lead as it now shifts to Detroit for the next two games. As the series shifts back to IN, the Pacers will need more from him on the offensive end as they seek their first win. Luke Kennard had 19 points for Detroit. As a team, Detroit is now shooting 30-for-80 (37.5%) from the field.

"It's always been one quarter that kills us in the second half", Thaddeus Young said.

Irving led all players with 18 first-half points. Eric Bledsoe finishes the first half with 14 half while Giannis Antetokounmpo has added 10, including this LOUD finish. He was noticeably a step slower at the outset and didn't' take his first shot until late in the second quarter. The Bucks, who were led by 12 points from Eric Bledsoe in the first, shot 14-for-20 (70%) from the field and 4-for-6 (66.7%) from long range. Eventually the run was broken by a Wesley Matthews 3-pointer, but never was Victor Oladipo's absence more noticeable than when the Pacers desperately needed a bucket down the stretch, and seemingly had nowhere to turn.