Irving scores 37, Celtics beat Pacers 99-91 for 2-game lead

Boston Celtics' Jayson Tatum goes in alone to the basket as Indiana Pacers' Bojan Bogdanovic looks on during the second quarter in Game 1 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series Sunday

Bojan Bogdanovic had 12 points and no three-pointers made in Game 1 after averaging 18.0 points per game and making 42.5 percent of his threes in the regular season.

The 74-point total was 15 points lower than any previous game this season for the Pacers.

The Celtics turned Game 1 by limiting IN to eight third-quarter points and won by 10. Depending on the sportsbook, Boston is slightly more than a -300 favorite with Indiana's moneyline at +275. It's been a hard year as a shooter and scorer for Brown, with a significant dip in his 3-point percentage and a diminished ball-handling role with Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward healthy.

Pacers: Were outrebounded for the second straight game 41-32.

The Pacers rallied into a lead in the second quarter, and they were up 64-59 in the first minute of the third period before going into one of their shooting slumps that have plagued them in the series.

When Indiana's offense bogged down in the third, Boston scored eight straight points to retake the lead, closed the quarter on a 9-2 run and delivered the final blow with a 10-4 spurt late in the fourth to make it 98-92.

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Jaylen Brown pointed out before Wednesday's game Tatum can bring his game to another level, according to Boston.com's Nicole Yang.

The Celtics have a number of players that can score the ball but Brown isn't generally a name that pops up as one of their premier scorers.

It's just one more thing breaking for the Celtics right now. His greatest moments come when it matters the most, and the moments are just going to get bigger as the postseason continues.

In a decisive stretch in the fourth quarter, Irving came up with three huge plays to seal the W. The Celtics would go cold again, trailing 91-89 with under a minute to go before Jayson Tatum hit the go-ahead three-pointer with 50.8 seconds to go. Or, if the Pacers had not lost Oladipo for 46 games, they might be a higher seed and playing a lesser team, or at least have homecourt advantage in this series.

Despite his and Jayson Tatum's spectacular play, the Pacers were still able to hold Boston under 100 points, and if not for a late last-minute meltdown, could have stolen Game 2.

"We've got to finish", said head coach Nate McMillan. Expect the Celtics to not only cover, but to get the upset on the road. Game 3, airing on ABC, is scheduled to tipoff on Friday night at 8:30pm ET, while Game 4, also airing on ABC, is set for Sunday afternoon at 1pm ET. However, as he makes play after play, it's easy to see how that team from last season really could have used him in the playoffs. There hasn't been much to write home about offensively for the rest of the team. They're shooting 39.8 percent from the field and 33.0 percent from 3-point range and even their free throw shooting (64.8 percent) is the worst of any playoff team.

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