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Celtics Edge Pacers in Overtime Thriller to Take Game 1 of Eastern Conference Finals

The Boston Celtics faced their first real test of the NBA playoffs in Tuesday’s Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals, and the result was nothing short of chaotic. The Celtics managed to secure a 133-128 overtime victory against the Indiana Pacers, leaving fans and analysts alike questioning their clutch performance.

“That’s a great word,” said Boston’s Jayson Tatum, “because that s*** was chaos. That s*** was wild.”

The drama peaked when Jaylen Brown’s last-second three-pointer sent the game into overtime. Tatum then delivered back-to-back three-point plays in the final moments of the extra period, sealing the win for the Celtics. Despite their victory, the Celtics’ performance left much to be analyzed.

“Before the inbounds, I was just talking to myself: ‘If I get this shot, it’s going in,’” said Brown, who posted 26 points, seven rebounds, and five assists. “I was just telling myself the whole time, ‘If you get it, it’s going up, and it’s going in.’”

While the Celtics eventually triumphed, the game was littered with mistakes. Brown’s turnover with 4:39 left in regulation and Tatum’s pass to no one in overtime exemplified Boston’s struggles. Yet, Jrue Holiday’s steady performance—20 of his 28 points came after halftime—was crucial.

“Jrue came out and balled, man,” said Brown. “He’s the reason why we won this game.”

The Pacers were not without their own missteps. Tyrese Haliburton’s out-of-bounds dribble in the final seconds of regulation and a botched inbounds pass gifted Boston opportunities they didn’t waste.

“It’s simple: Big-time players make big-time plays,” added Tatum. “That was a hell of a shot.”

Despite the Celtics’ chaotic play, their resilience prevailed. As the series progresses, Boston must find consistency to face tougher opponents likely to come.

What we do know: Boston has played 11 postseason games, won nine of them, and needs seven more to deliver the franchise’s 18th championship. That was one hell of a basketball contest, the Celtics’ first real test and one it passed — barely, but nobody will remember the grade we give them in this moment.

We will just remember the chaos. As Brown said, “Welcome to the NBA playoffs.”


Photo Credit: Creative Photo Corner / Shutterstock.com

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