Celtics 108, Pacers 98: The night we learned Marcus Smart can shoot

Celtics 108, Pacers 98: The night we learned Marcus Smart can shoot

The excuses were built in.

The Celtics were on the road on the second leg of a back-to-back. They were playing without both Jaylen Brown (who was attending the funeral of his friend) and Marcus Morris (knee management). And they fell into the kind of first-half hole against the Pacers that could have easily led to some early white flag waving.

There was another obstacle. Because they were missing the 27 combined points per game from Brown and Morris, the Celtics would have to lean on some sort of offense from starting off guard Marcus Smart. This was a player who was shooting 28 percent on two-point attempts, and even worse (24 percent) from beyond the 3-point stripe. In fact, Smart hadn’t made more than three field goals in any of the last 10 games.

But, as has been the case throughout this Celtics season, they figured it out just in time.

The C’s improved to 6-2 when trailing by double-digits, this time riding a second half which saw them score 63 points to claim a 108-98 win over Indiana in Indianapolis. And a big reason why this comeback was made possible was because of a not-so-subtle reminder by Smart that he has the ability to actually put the ball in the basket. (For a complete recap of the win, click here.)

Smart made 7-of-8 shots from the floor on the way to a 15-point night, adding in the other usual extras that have helped make this 18-3 juggernaut go.

There were others.

Kyrie Irving netted 25 points, and has now averaged 28 points per contest in the seven games since returning from the broken bone in his face. Al Horford played an inspirational second half, finishing with 21 points, marking the first time in five games that he has hit double-figures. And Terry Rozier followed up his career-high 24 points Friday night with another stellar offensive outing, going 7-of-9 from the field on the way to 17 points.

The Celtics will now play five straight home games, starting with the team with the second-best record in the NBA behind the C’s, Detroit, Monday night. That will be followed by visits from Philadelphia (Thursday), Phoenix (Saturday), Milwaukee (Dec. 4) and Dallas (Dec. 6).

JBL Audio Stat of the Game: For Rozier it has been a drastic about-face, having scored the combined 41 points in the last two games after not cracking 16 points in any of his previous 132 career NBA games.

JBL is the Official Sound of Jayson Tatum, The Boston Celtics, and the NBA.

Full article @ Celtics 108, Pacers 98: The night we learned Marcus Smart can shoot

Source: GreenStreet Blog

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