The Indiana Pacers try to avoid going down 0-3 in their best-of-seven playoff series with the Boston Celtics.
Friday, April 19 at 8:30 PM ET
Bankers Life Fieldhouse
The Pacers let another close game escape last Wednesday when the Celtics beat them 99-91. The Celtics might have won but you felt like the Pacers lost it.
Indiana struggled with their shot when it mattered the most and Boston erased a 12-point fourth quarter deficit in around eight minutes.
Kyrie Irving led the way with 37 points, including nine in the fourth quarter and he displayed leadership while Jayson Tatum also had a big game with 26 points and four rebounds in 39 minutes.
Irving and Tatum were 9 of 16 from 3-point range combined but the Pacers still held the Celtics under 100 points and they almost stole home court advantage but a late last-minute meltdown cost them the game.
If the Pacers want to get back in this series, they have to be more aggressive when they have a lead. The Pacers outscored the Celtics 29-16 in the third quarter in Game 2 and built a 12-point lead in the fourth quarter but their shots didn't fall despite getting looks all over the court.
Domantas Sabonis was the best player off the bench for the Pacers in the regular season, averaging 13.8 points and 9.2 rebounds on 59.1 percent shooting and 56.3 percent from downtown in 24.4 minutes over 69 games as a reserve but he's averaging just 4.0 points in 25.0 minutes in this series and he scored just one point on 0-for-1 shooting in 22 minutes off the bench last Wednesday.
Sabonis' lack of production as a reserve has played a part in both losses, the Pacers need him to contribute or this will be a short series.
The Over is:
6-1 in Boston's last seven games playing with one day of rest
6-1 in Boston's last seven road games against a team with a winning home record
7-2 in Boston's last nine road games
13-4 in Boston's last 17 Friday games
7-0 in Indiana's last seven Friday games
5-1 in Indiana's last six home games following a road trip of seven or more days
4-1 in Indiana's last five home games
4-1 in the last five meetings in Indiana
Getting production from Sabonis and Myles Turner can help this game go 'Over' this low total. Turner has just 13 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks in the first two games combined, he averaged 13.3 points, 7.2 rebounds and 2.7 blocks per game in the regular season and he has to replicate those numbers to give the Pacers a chance in this game. Turner has more 3-point tries (seven) than 2-point tries (six) and that has to change as well.
NBA Pick: Over 205 (-110) at Jazz Sports
Check odds here: http://bit.ly/jazzonaff