Pacers bank on home court vs. Celtics in Game 3

Indiana has received 11 straight at house courting to a regular-season loss to the Cavaliers on March 18.

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The Indiana Pacers have an unblemished 6-0 house report through the NBA playoffs, however one other impediment has emerged.

Not solely do the Pacers path the Boston Celtics 2-0 within the Jap Convention Finals, however Indiana could not have the companies of star level guard Tyrese Haliburton for Saturday’s pivotal Recreation 3 (8:30 ET on ABC) in Indianapolis.

Haliburton injured his left hamstring through the second quarter of Thursday’s 126-110 loss in Recreation 2 and exited for good late within the third quarter. The staff listed him as questionable for Saturday’s contest.

The Pacers hope to have the All-NBA third-team choice however additionally they are being real looking. Haliburton suffered an analogous damage earlier this season — Jan. 8, additionally towards Boston — and missed 10 of the following 11 video games. Indiana went 6-4 with out him.

The stakes are definitely larger now with the Pacers hoping to keep away from a 3-0 deficit.

“That’s a time for this group for everybody to step up and take an even bigger position,” Indiana guard T.J. McConnell mentioned of the potential for his squad being with out Haliburton.

“We’ve achieved an excellent job of that when he’s been out. It hurts when he goes down, however a kind of issues the place it’s the ‘subsequent man up’ mentality. Clearly, we’ll see.”

Haliburton had 25 factors and 10 assists when the Pacers put up an enormous battle in Recreation 1 earlier than falling 133-128 in extra time. He had 10 factors and eight assists in Recreation 2 when Boston’s Jaylen Brown stole the present by matching his private playoff profession better of 40 factors.

Regardless of the 2-0 gap and the chance that their prime participant could possibly be achieved for the sequence, the Pacers level to their home-court benefit as the rationale they’ll nonetheless win the seven-game set.

Indiana has received 11 straight at house courting to a regular-season loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers on March 18.

“I feel we now have the blokes to grasp how laborious it’s to win, and we all know that we will bounce again,” Pacers ahead Pascal Siakam mentioned. “We’ve achieved all of it yr, and it’s time to dig deep and simply go on the market and compete on the highest stage in entrance of our followers.”

Brown was definitely competing at a excessive stage when he made 4 3-pointers and was 14-for-27 from the sphere in Recreation 2.

His huge outing got here one night time after he was snubbed when the All-NBA Groups have been introduced. Brown had been a second-team choose in 2022-23 however didn’t land one of many 15 spots this season.

“I feel he cares about it in a means that motivates him, and I feel he doesn’t actually care about it in any respect,” Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla mentioned. “He understands that profitable is a very powerful factor. He simply cares about the suitable stuff.”

Brown denied that lacking out on the consideration served as motivation in Recreation 2.

“I imply, we’re two video games from the Finals,” Brown mentioned. “So truthfully, I don’t acquired the time to provide a (expletive).”

Although Jayson Tatum and Derrick White added 23 factors apiece, Thursday night time was Brown’s present.

“I imply, he has it going,” Boston guard Jrue Vacation mentioned. “Y’all see what I see. Nice participant, nice chief, however desires to win. And takes issues into his personal palms.

“So I’m glad to have him on my facet. I journey with him. The best way JB’s been enjoying, man, it’s excellent.”

Brown averaged 33 factors within the two video games in Boston however the process figures to get more durable throughout an enormous sports activities weekend in Indianapolis.

The Celtics and Pacers play Recreation 4 on Monday and the well-known Indianapolis 500 might be held Sunday on the day between video games.

“I do know that our constructing might be as loud and stay because it’s ever been,” Indianapolis coach Rick Carlisle mentioned. “It’s race weekend and the whole lot else occurring. We’ve acquired to benefit from that.”

Boston huge man Kristaps Porzingis (calf) will miss his ninth straight sport.