Jaylen Brown had 32 points on 12-of-18 shooting and Jayson Tatum added 31 points as the Boston Celtics held off the visiting Indiana Pacers 128-123 on Friday.
Six of the eight players who took the floor for the Celtics (48-30) scored in double digits. Al Horford posted 17 points, 10 rebounds and six assists.
Derrick White added 13 points off the bench to help Boston break a two-game skid. Brown added seven assists and Tatum had six rebounds and six assists.
Tyrese Haliburton led the Pacers (25-53) with 30 points despite fouling out with 8:13 left.
Oshae Brissett and Jalen Smith added 17 points apiece for Indiana, which has lost six straight games. Lance Stephenson had 11 points and 11 assists.
After the Celtics capped the third quarter on a 6-2 run to lead by points, the game remained close in the fourth.
Payton Pritchard hit a 3-pointer to extend the lead to eight, but the Pacers never backed down. Stephenson made it a 114-112 game on a trey 5:31 left, but that was as close as the Pacers got.
Tatum’s cutting dunk with 39.8 seconds left put an exclamation point on the win.
Boston built an 11-2 run through the first 2:15, but the visitors scored the next nine to tie the game. Haliburton’s first of two treys in the first quarter came during that run for Indiana.
Al Horford hit two baskets — one of them a 3-pointer — to help the Celtics maintain their lead despite seeing it dwindle to one point on three occasions later in the first.
Brown hit back-to-back layups to prompt Indiana to call timeout with 3:10 left before a Daniel Theis alley-oop from White a corner triple from Marcus Smart in the final minute made it a nine-point game again.
Boston’s lead was cut to four and then expanded back to 10 to begin the second quarter, as Tatum hit a 3-pointer and free throw in quick succession. The star forward closed the half with a running dunk with 29.8 seconds left, putting the Celtics ahead 68-61.
Tatum highlighted the third quarter with a thunderous one-hand dunk with 2:28 left, but Boston’s eight-point eroded to one as Buddy Hield capped a 7-0 run with a 3-pointer at the 1:13 mark.
Tatum nearly doubled his 12 first-half points with 11 in the third quarter.
–Field Level Media