Posted on April 21, 2019, by Travis Pulver
The Indiana Pacers knew they had their backs against the wall heading into Game Four of their best of seven series with the Boston Celtics. They knew that the task ahead was a monumental one. No team had ever overcome a 3-0 deficit. But someone has to be the first.
Why not them?
There were moments in what ended up being a back and forth kind of game where both teams appeared to have control. However, Boston got things started on the right foot with an 8-0 run to start the game. But then the Pacers countered with a 13-0 run to take the lead a little over five minutes into the game. By the time the quarter ended, the Pacers were in front, 23-21.
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But the lead was short-lived as the Celtics started the second with a 13-2 run. For the rest of the quarter, the game remained close and with the Celtics in control. But in the final minute, the Pacers had a six-point burst and took the lead, 49-47, into halftime.
Indiana managed to hold onto the lead for much of the third quarter. But Marcus Morris was able to give the Celtics the lead, 73-72, with a pair of free throws in the last seconds of the quarter.
The game remained close up until Corey Joseph committed a flagrant foul about midway through the fourth. Jayson Tatum made both free throws to give the Celtics the lead, 83-82. Then the Celtics followed that with a 7-1 and took a 90-83 lead with 4:24 to go.
A three-pointer by Gordon Hayward put the Celtics up by ten, 102-92 with 1:04 left to play. The Celtics would go on to win by four, 110-106.
Pacers head coach Nate McMillan was complimentary of the Celtics after the game:
“A lot of people downplayed Boston as a team. But we knew they would get it right come playoff time.
Gordon Hayward led the way for the Celtics with 20 points off the bench followed by Jayson Tatum and Marcus Morris with 18 each. Seven players ended up scoring in double figures for the Celtics. Kyrie Irving had an off day hitting just four of his 13 shots for 14 points (6-7 from free throw line).
Bojan Bogdanovic led the way for the Pacers with 22 points and eight rebounds followed by Tyreke Evans with 21 points off the bench. Darren Collision chipped in 19.
With the win, the Celtics completed a sweep of the Pacers, their first postseason series sweep since the 2011 playoffs and only their second since the 1987 playoffs. However, they will have to wait to find out who they play in the next round.
If the Raptors, Bucks, and 76ers win their respective series, they will end up facing the Milwaukee Bucks in the semifinals. Hayward commented on the thought of facing the Bucks in the next round, via ESPN:
“It’s going to take everything we have. That’s why it’s good we finished this series. We can rest up, prepare, and have some extra time.”
The Celtics went 1-2 against the Bucks in the regular season.