Victor Oladipo torched Boston’s defense for 35 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to help the Indiana Pacers hold off a late push from the Celtics in a 97-91 victory on Friday night at TD Garden in Boston.
Oladipo, who was sidelined for the Pacers’ loss to Washington on Monday with an illness, notched his second 35-point game in the month of February after dropping 35 at Charlotte on Feb. 2. He also recorded five steals against Boston.
Kyrie Irving had 21 points and five assists to lead the Celtics, who couldn’t build off of Thursday night’s 110-104 overtime victory in Washington. Boston had won five of its last six entering the game.
Myles Turner added 19 points and seven boards and Thaddeus Young finished with a double-double of 13 points and 14 boards for the Pacers.
Jaylen Brown scored 16 points, Jayson Tatum added 15 and Al Horford totaled 10 points, eight rebounds and four assists. Newly signed Greg Monroe had two points and four boards in his first game in Boston since joining the Celtics on Thursday.
After trailing by as many as 26 points in the first half, Boston claimed its first lead at 83-82 on Horford’s 3-pointer with 4:45 remaining.
Turner’s dunk with 3:51 left restored the Pacers’ lead for good at 86-85, and his three-point play with 1:12 left gave Indiana an eight-point advantage. Two free throws from Young and one from Turner in the final minute sealed the win.
Terry Rozier banked in a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to pull the Celtics within 76-72 heading into the fourth.
Indiana led 30-16 after one quarter and stretched its advantage to 59-38 at halftime.
Brown’s driving layup with 2:46 to play in the third capped a 25-13 run to open the quarter and brought Boston within single digits for the first time since the first quarter.
Indiana was playing for the first time since Wednesday’s scheduled game at New Orleans was postponed due to a leak in the roof.
The Celtics won their first two games against the Pacers this season, with Rozier’s last-second steal and dunk capping a thrilling 112-111 victory in Indiana in their most recent meeting on Dec. 18.
Boston hosts Cleveland in a rematch of last year’s Eastern Conference Finals on Sunday. After the game, the Celtics will retire 10-time All-Star Paul Pierce’s No. 34.
Indiana returns home to host New York on Sunday.
—Field Level Media