The last week of games has been a struggle for the Boston Celtics. The team had suffered three consecutive losses coming into tonight. None of those teams that defeated the Celtics currently have a winning record. However, despite those concerning performances, Boston managed to right the ship with a victory over the Indiana Pacers on Friday night.
Point guard Kemba Walker led the Celtics with 32 points and 6 assists on the night. He shot an efficient 52% from the field and 40% from beyond the arc. Walker has struggled to regain his form since returning from a knee injury that sidelined him for the first part of the season. However, this performance is a step in the right direction. Center Daniel Theis finished with 17 points, and guard Jaylen Brown also added 15 points.
For maybe the first time all season, the Celtics won despite the performance of star forward Jayson Tatum. The former Duke star struggled tremendously, finishing with just 9 points while shooting 4-18 from the field. While tonight was far from his best performance, Tatum has been terrific all season for Boston, averaging 25 points and 6 rebounds through 27 games this season.
Forward Domantas Sabonis led the Pacers in scoring with 24 points in the loss. Center Myles Turner finished with 17 points and 10 rebounds, while guard Malcolm Brogdon finished with 12 points. While usually two of the Pacers’ more efficient scorers, Turner and Brogdon, finished a combined 9-30 from the field tonight. The Pacers perimeter shooting was porous on the night, shooting just 32.6% from three on 46 attempts. The Pacers will hope to finish the first half of the season strong in the coming week. Indiana will face the Knicks, Sixers, Cavaliers, and Nuggets before the All-Star break.