Pacers’ resiliency faces tough test with 0-2 deficit

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It started to unravel quickly in the second half.

Kyrie Irving exploded for 37 points to go along with seven assists and six rebounds at the TD Garden on Wednesday night, as the Boston Celtics came from behind to defeat the Indiana Pacers 99-91.

The Pacers unravelled in their first-round playoff loss to the Celtics on Wednesday, to the devestation of bettors who had them covering the spread in Game 2. This time, it was a 12-point third quarter that swung the momentum, leading Boston to its sixth straight win over IN - all since January.

The teams will play Game 3 at 8:30 p.m. ET on Friday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Boston was down four after the opening quarter and led by two at the half before a bad third quarter.

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IN blew a 12-point, fourth-quarter lead. The Pacers continued to get whatever they wanted on the offensive end as they shot 50 percent for the quarter and led, 79-68.

IN closed as a 7.5-point underdog.

In Houston, James Harden finished with a triple-double as the Rockets romped to a blowout 118-98 win over the Utah Jazz to take a 2-0 lead in their Western Conference series. Boston shot 40 of 84 from the field and 11 of 28 from the arc.

The Celtics are 15 in the league during the postseason in scoring offense with 91.5 points per game. After watching the Pacers hit seven of their first nine shots and fly out to a 20-13 lead, Stevens was so frustrated he sent Daniel Theis into the fray for some rare first-quarter minutes. The potential Turner showed his second season where he averaged 14.5 points and 7.3 rebounds a game had Pacers fans and experts alike projecting him as a future All-Star if he grew from there.

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"We just need to continue to defend the way that we've done", Al Horford said. Bojan Bogdanovic had 15, not enough to prevent IN from losing its sixth straight to Boston IN the regular season and playoff. Celtics lead 2-0.

It's been that kind of series for IN, which erased a 15-point first half deficit to take a 61-59 halftime lead.

Tatum scored 26 points, including a thunderous dunk down the stretch to help punctuate a 10-0 run by Boston over the final five minutes. The Pacers would remain within shouting distance and even take the lead shortly thereafter. All four teams have their fair share of factions in the media who believe the Celtics OR 76ers OR Raptors OR Bucks have the strongest shot to reach the Finals, but Colin believes there really is only one player who will decide that and it's not the guy who will likely win the MVP...

The Pacers have not said if Oladipo will return for Game 4. Bojan Bogdanovic led the team with 23 points, eight rebounds and four steals, Thaddeus Young added 15 points while Darren Collison and Tyreke Evans each scored 13 points. IN is 14 in the league in rebounding by collecting 39 boards per game.

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