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Bennedict Mathurin made two free throws with 0.6 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter to give the Indiana Pacers a 133-131 victory over the Boston Celtics on Monday night (Tuesday, January 9, Manila time) in Indianapolis.
The game was tied with two seconds to play when Indiana inbounded the ball to Mathurin and he was fouled by Kristaps Porzingis during a 3-point attempt.
After making two free throws, Mathurin intentionally missed the third. Boston rebounded the miss and called timeout with 0.3 to play. Luke Kornet’s tip-in at the buzzer would have tied the game, but the ball hit the rim and bounced out.
Mathurin scored a team-high 26 points for the Pacers, who made 19 of their 40 3-point attempts (47.5 percent). Indiana received 17 points from Aaron Nesmith and 16 points and eight rebounds from Myles Turner.
The Celtics lost despite a season-high 40 points from Jaylen Brown. Jrue Holiday had 21 points, six rebounds and six assists, and Porzingis finished with 19 points, five rebounds and seven assists.
It may have been a costly victory for Indiana, however. Pacers point guard Tyrese Haliburton slipped during a drive to the basket in the second quarter and had to be helped off the court with a hamstring injury. He did not return to the game.
Haliburton had seven points, two rebounds and six assists in 13 minutes before he was injured.
Boston played without forwards Sam Hauser (shoulder) and Jayson Tatum (ankle). Tatum collected 38 points, 13 rebounds and six assists when the Celtics beat the Pacers 118-101 on Saturday.
Bruce Brown and Andrew Nembhard both returned to the Indiana lineup. Nembhard missed the last three games with a back sprain. Bruce Brown sat out Saturday’s loss to Boston because of a right knee bone bruise.
The Celtics led 34-33 after one quarter and 68-59 at halftime, but Indiana outscored Boston 44-33 in the third and led 103-101 entering the final quarter. The 44 points the Pacers scored in the third are the most the Celtics surrendered in a quarter this season.
Boston missed nine of its 29 free throw attempts. – Rappler.com