MANILA, Philippines – Kyrie Irving earned his first playoff win with the Boston Celtics as they topped the Indiana Pacers, 84-74, in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference clash on Sunday, April 14 (Monday, April 15, Philippine time).
Missing the Celtics’ run to the East Finals last year after undergoing procedure on his left knee, the All-Star guard made up for lost time as he delivered 20 points, 7 assists, 5 rebounds and 2 steals.
The Celtics trailed by 7 points at halftime before limiting the Pacers to just 8 points and scoring 26 in the crucial 3rd quarter to turn the tide and head into the final frame with a 64-53 lead.
Keeping their foot on the pedal, the Celtics’ lead grew to as large as 22 points, 84-62.
Marcus Morris chimed in 20 points and 7 rebounds off the bench, Jayson Tatum had 15 points, Al Horford put up 10 points, 11 rebounds and 5 assists and Gordon Hayward added 10 points and 7 rebounds in the win.
Cory Joseph finished with 14 points off the bench in the losing effort while Bojan Bogdanovic added 12 points as the only other Pacer to breach double figures.
Game 2 is on Wednesday, April 17 (Thursday, April 18, Philippine time). – Rappler.com