Tatum converted the three-point play to make it 97-91. IN missed 10 straight shots during the run, finally breaking a almost eight-minute scoring drought with a 3-pointer by Matthews in front of the Celtics' bench.
Yeah, that's not an ideal in-bounds pass.
Celtics coach Brad Stevens will take plenty of positives from the way Tatum went in search of the ball late in the game, espeically with the Pacers' defence zeroed in on Kyrie Irving.
What a difference a game makes. It took less than a minute of game time for Pacers bettors to go from comfortable to devastated.
IN led 79-68 entering the fourth. After one, the Pacers were shooting a red-hot 65% from the field while the Celtics shot 55%.
Boston shook off a lethargic start by coming out of the locker room for the second half motivated.
The Celtics' lead was 13 after three quarters and was as many as 22 in the fourth quarter before the team went scoreless over the final 3:34, allowing in to make the final score more respectable. 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 in to retake a 91-89 advantage with 2:16 to go. But, when crunch time hit in the fourth quarter and Boston ramped up its defensive intensity, in simply couldn't buy a bucket.
After Matthews couldn't connect on a 3-point try at the IN end, Gordon Hayward dropped IN a layup with 12.1 seconds remaining to increase the Boston lead to 94-91.
While it was filled with ups and downs, the offence was much more present in Game 2 for both teams. IN knocked down only six of 27 three-point attempts and was pounded 55-42 on the glass, in addition to converting only 12 of 21 free throw attempts.
The Pacers are going to struggle to score in this series; that's a given. Boston has to be better with ball handling as they committed 17 turnovers in the contest.
The Pacers not only struggled from the field, but they struggled from the free throw line, too, shooting 12-of-21 (57.1%).
The Pacers aren't really equipped to stop Irving and if he can continue this form on the road, they will have a tough time getting back into the series.
During the season, the Celtics used 23 different starting lineups, with its most popular lineup consisting of Tatum, Morris, Horford, Irving and (now injured guard) Marcus Smart.
Still, despite not being at 100% physically, Horford managed to set the tone by making his presence felt, especially on the interior.