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In a gripping start to the Eastern Conference Finals in Game 1, the top-seeded Boston Celtics narrowly escaped with a 133-128 overtime victory over the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday night. Jayson Tatum led the charge for Boston, scoring 36 points, including a crucial 10 points in overtime, to secure the win.

The game was a rollercoaster from start to finish. The Celtics found themselves in a precarious position late in regulation, trailing by three points. However, Jaylen Brown delivered in the clutch, sinking a tying 3-pointer with just 6.1 seconds left on the clock to force the game into overtime. Brown’s heroics were complemented by his solid performance throughout the game, as he finished with 26 points.

Tatum’s stellar performance in overtime was instrumental in the Celtics’ victory. He dominated the extra period, ensuring that Boston maintained its home-court advantage. “It’s crucial for us to start strong and keep our momentum,” Tatum said post-game. “But we need to stay focused and guard against complacency, especially since we’ve lost Game 2 in each of our previous two series.”

Jrue Holiday also had a standout night, scoring a season-high 28 points. His contributions were vital in the Celtics’ offensive efforts, particularly in the absence of 7-footer Kristaps Porzingis. The Celtics struggled defensively at times, allowing the Pacers to score 56 points in the paint and hit 13 three-pointers. However, Boston’s resilience and ability to make key plays down the stretch made the difference.

The Pacers, led by Tyrese Haliburton’s 25 points and 10 assists, showcased their offensive prowess and determination. Haliburton’s leadership and playmaking kept Indiana in contention throughout the game. Despite the loss, the Pacers proved they could compete at the highest level, pushing the Celtics to their limits.

With Game 2 set for Thursday in Boston, the Celtics are aware of the challenges ahead. The team’s recent history of losing Game 2 in their previous two series is a point of concern. Tatum emphasized the need for focus and preparation to avoid a similar fate. “We know we can’t let our guard down. Every game is critical, and we have to come out with the same intensity,” Tatum remarked.

The Eastern Conference Finals promise to be a hard-fought battle, with both teams demonstrating their capabilities in Game 1. The Celtics’ ability to rally and secure a win in such dramatic fashion sets the stage for what should be an exciting and closely contested series. As the Celtics and Pacers prepare for Game 2, fans can expect more thrilling basketball and intense competition.

 

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