Boston got the first basket of the second quarter - a nifty euro-step finish in transition by Gordon Hayward - but in rattled off nine consecutive points and carried that lead into the break thanks in part to Boston's 32.5 percent shooting from the floor, 23.5 percent shooting from three and 10 turnovers, which led to 11 points.
While you can totally win games with defense, I'd like to see Boston hit some shots in Game 2. The Indiana Pacers are shooting 22.2 percent from beyond the arc and 57.1 percent from the free throw line. By then, the Celtics scored 15 of the quarter's first 16 points to go ahead 53-46.
"He's a very good 3-point shooter, we know that, " Pacers forward Thaddeus Young said. The Celtics entered the year with championship aspirations and settled for inconsistency and occasional struggles on both ends of the floor, leading to a 4-seed that barely earned them an extra home game next to the Bunker Hill Memorial Bridge in the first round.More news: Spurs stun Nuggets in Game 1, take series lead
"I just try to be aggressive on the ball, be in the right spots", Irving said.
After two more turnovers and two more missed shots, making the Pacers 0-for-11 at that point with five turnovers, Joseph finally dropped in a layup with 3:28 left in the period for the Indiana's first basket of the half.
"He just brought a really intense veteran mindset, just being able to go out there and impact the game, " said Irving, who totaled 20 points in his first playoff game with the Celtics.More news: Virat Kohli 'very lucky' to be retained as RCB captain - Gautam Gambhir
Stevens said he could tell Morris was probably going to have a good game, based on the team's two most recent practices.
Smart would have appreciated Boston's defensive effort in the series opener. It entered Week 26 of the 2018-19 National Basketball Association season with a sterling 292-234 record on all top-rated picks, returning more than $4,000 in profit to anybody following them. "I appreciated that. I think we all did".
Each team finished with their season low in points scored. Those happen to be Indiana Pacers colors as well, but it was all green on Sunday at the start of what Celtics fans hope is a long postseason run. The Pacers are also just 2-7 now ATS when an underdog of six or more points. "That game looked like a 1980s playoff game in a lot of ways with the score".More news: Star Wars Vader Immortal VR Series Trailer Reveals Story, Gameplay