NBA Playoffs: Celtics beat Pacers again, take 3-0 lead

In a thrilling Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals, the Boston Celtics defeated the Indiana Pacers 114-111 on Saturday night in Indianapolis. This victory gives the Celtics a commanding 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven series, putting them on the brink of advancing to the NBA Finals.

Jayson Tatum was the standout performer for the Celtics, contributing 36 points, 10 rebounds, and 8 assists. Tatum’s all-around game was crucial in maintaining Boston’s edge throughout the contest.

Al Horford also made a significant impact, scoring 23 points, including a career-high seven 3-pointers, while Jaylen Brown added 24 points to the tally.

Jrue Holiday played a pivotal role in securing the win for Boston. Despite battling an illness that kept him uncertain to play until just before the game, Holiday finished with 14 points, 9 rebounds, and 3 steals. His crucial theft and subsequent game-winning three-point play in the closing moments were decisive.

The Pacers, who have struggled to win at home in recent postseason games, put up a valiant effort. Andrew Nembhard had a standout performance with a career-high 32 points and 9 assists. T.J. McConnell added 23 points, 9 rebounds, and 6 assists, while Myles Turner and Pascal Siakam each scored 22 points.

However, the absence of All-NBA Third Team selection Tyrese Haliburton, who missed the game due to a left hamstring injury, was keenly felt.

Boston’s efficient shooting played a key role in their victory, as they shot 47% from the field and made 16 of their 46 three-point attempts.

Derrick White contributed 13 points to round out the Celtics’ balanced offensive attack. In contrast, the Pacers’ shooting faltered in the second half, hitting only 38.3% overall and a dismal 5 of 22 from three-point range.

With this win, the Celtics are now one step away from a clean sweep in the series and a spot in the NBA Finals. The Pacers will need to regroup and find a way to extend the series in the next game, facing a daunting challenge against a dominant Boston team.

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