Celtics vs. Pacers: Game 3 Player Stats & Box Scores | NBA Playoffs 2024

Boston's late surge highlights Game 3's intense competition.

by Abdullah Magsi
Celtics vs. Pacers: Game 3 Player Stats & Box Scores | NBA Playoffs 2024
© Stacy Revere/Getty Images

In a dramatic Game 3 of the NBA Playoffs, the Boston Celtics orchestrated a late comeback to secure a 114-111 victory over the Indiana Pacers, overcoming the absence of Indiana's star guard Tyrese Haliburton. Haliburton, pivotal to the Pacers' offense, missed Saturday's game due to a hamstring injury sustained earlier in the series, with his participation in Game 4 still uncertain.

Despite the setback, the Pacers began assertively, with Pascal Siakam leading the charge with 11 points in the opening quarter. Myles Turner, previously criticized for his performance in Game 2, responded robustly by contributing 10 early points.

This initial burst helped the Pacers narrowly trail the Celtics 32-31 at the end of the first quarter. The Celtics, accustomed to facing teams missing their key players this postseason, maintained their focus. They had previously encountered similar scenarios against Jimmy Butler of the Miami Heat and Donovan Mitchell of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The standout performer for Indiana was Andrew Nembhard, who embraced the lead guard role in Haliburton’s absence. Nembhard's exceptional play in the second quarter, highlighted by a 25-footer, propelled the Pacers to a commanding 64-46 lead.

His performance continued to dazzle, ending the half with Indiana leading 69-47.

Celtics' Third-Quarter Rally

Boston's resilience shone through in the third quarter as they began to claw back, with Derrick White's free throws cutting the deficit to seven points.

The Celtics' defensive efforts intensified, setting the stage for a nail-biting final quarter. In the fourth, the Celtics methodically eroded the Pacers' lead. Al Horford's critical three-pointer brought Boston within three points, setting up a back-and-forth battle in the closing minutes.

The Celtics' experience and poise under pressure were evident as they went on an 11-2 run to close the game, capped by Jrue Holiday's crucial and-one play. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown led the Celtics' three-point shooting efforts, with Tatum rebounding from a tough previous game to hit five from beyond the arc.

Meanwhile, Nembhard’s shooting cooled off in the second half, though he still managed four triples from seven attempts. This victory places the Celtics in a strong position in the series, demonstrating their ability to adapt and overcome adversity.

The Pacers, while facing the challenge of Haliburton's uncertain return, have shown they can compete fiercely, setting the stage for a compelling Game 4. Both teams will regroup and adjust strategies as the playoffs continue to unfold, with the Celtics aiming to maintain their momentum and the Pacers looking to even the series.

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