April 18, 2019 / 4:51 AM / a month ago

NBA roundup: Celtics rally past Pacers for 2-0 series lead

Jayson Tatum buried a go-ahead 3-pointer with 50.8 seconds remaining Wednesday night, allowing the host Boston Celtics to overcome a late Indiana Pacers flurry and pull out a 99-91 victory in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference first-round playoff series.

Apr 17, 2019; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) reacts during the first half in game two of the first round of the 2019 NBA Playoffs against the Indiana Pacers at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

With the fourth-seeded Celtics having successfully held serve on their home court to go up 2-0 in the best-of-seven set, the fifth-seeded Pacers will host Games 3 and 4 on Friday night and Sunday afternoon.

Indiana blew a 12-point, fourth-quarter lead. However, the Pacers appeared primed to even the series when Wesley Matthews and Bojan Bogdanovic combined for three 3-pointers in a 70-second spurt, allowing Indiana to retake a 91-89 advantage with 2:16 to go.

But the Pacers didn’t score again, and the Celtics finally did when Tatum drilled his third 3-pointer of the game for a one-point lead in the final minute. The Celtics scored the game’s final 10 points.

Rockets 118, Jazz 98

James Harden posted his third career postseason triple-double, and Houston recorded another rout of visiting Utah in Game 2 of a Western Conference first-round series.

Harden totaled 32 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists in the wire-to-wire victory. After Utah utilized an unorthodox defensive approach against Harden in the series opener, Harden exploded for 25 first-half points Wednesday on 8-of-15 shooting, including 5-of-9 accuracy on 3-point attempts.

He finished 11 of 24 from the floor, 6 of 13 from long distance. Harden, however, did commit a game-high eight turnovers. The Rockets will take a 2-0 series lead to Salt Lake City for Game 3 on Saturday.

Bucks 120, Pistons 99

Giannis Antetokounmpo sparked the decisive run in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference first-round series, scoring Milwaukee’s first seven points of the second half in a win over visiting Detroit.

The top-seeded Bucks lead the best-of-seven series two games to none. Game 3 is scheduled for Saturday in Detroit, where the eighth-seeded Pistons will try to snap a 12-game postseason losing streak that dates back to 2008. That’s tied for the second-longest postseason losing streak in NBA history, behind only the New York Knicks’ 13 consecutive losses from 2001-12.

Antetokounmpo scored 13 of his 26 points during a third quarter in which the Bucks outscored the Pistons 35-17. He also grabbed a team-high 12 rebounds.

—Field Level Media

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