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Jan 30, 2024 10:32 pm

Celtics score 81 in first half, hold off Pacers

Jayson Tatum collected a game-high 30 points, along with seven rebounds and seven assists, to help the Boston Celtics defeat the visiting Indiana Pacers 129-124 on Tuesday night.

Jaylen Brown scored 25 points and Derrick White added 24 for the Celtics, who made 17 of their 36 3-point attempts.

The Pacers trailed 127-124 after Aaron Nesmith’s layup with 1:04 to play, but Boston extended its lead to five points on two free throws by Jrue Holiday with 16.1 seconds left. Holiday scored 17 points in the win.

Nesmith finished the game with 26 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists. Pascal Siakam scored 23 points and Myles Turner had 17.

Tyrese Haliburton played after missing 10 of Indiana’s last 11 games with a hamstring injury, but the Pacers were without Bennedict Mathurin (toe sprain) and T.J. McConnell (illness). Haliburton scored 13 points and had 10 assists in 22 minutes.

Boston played without Al Horford (neck sprain) and Luke Kornet (hamstring), but Kristaps Porzingis was back in the lineup after missing two games with a sprained ankle. Porzingis played 24 minutes and tallied 17 points and a team-high 12 rebounds.

White scored 15 points in the first quarter to help Boston take a 36-26 lead after 12 minutes. The Celtics pushed the lead to 79-59 on Tatum’s 3-pointer with 1:22 remaining in the half and took an 81-66 lead into halftime.

Boston shot 65 percent (30 of 46) in the first half, making 12 of 20 3-point attempts. The 81 points were the most the Celtics have scored in a half this season.

The Pacers scored 28 of the first 40 points in the third and went in front 94-93 on Turner’s free throw with 4:11 left in the quarter, but Boston fought back and led 106-103 entering the fourth.

Boston has won three of its five matchups with Indiana this season.

–Field Level Media

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