Boston draws first blood vs Indiana in Game 1 overtime thriller

Jaylen Brown and the Celtics hacked out a morale-boosting Game 1 win over the Pacers (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña

The Boston Celtics began its quest for another NBA Eastern Conference finals supremacy on a high note after surviving the Indiana Pacers, 133-128, to clinch an early 1-0 lead in the ongoing post-season on May 22, 2024.

Despite letting their 13-point lead slip away when the Pacers used a huge third-quarter run to complete the comeback, the Celtics still showed poise under pressure to force overtime and wrapped up the Game 1 win in thrilling fashion.

With eight seconds left in the clock, the Pacers were close to bagging Game 1 but an Andrew Nembhard turnover gave the Celtics another room to breathe.

As the possession changed in favor of Boston, the Celtics arena quickly broke out with screams as Jaylen Brown was able to knock down a clutch three-pointer that tied things up at 117-all.

Indiana had another chance of icing the game with 5.7 seconds left but Tyrese Haliburton’s three-point heave failed to kiss the net after a tremendous defensive display from Jayson Tatum.

In the overtime, the Pacers kicked off the extension period with high morale as Haliburton was able to bury a trey that gave them a 120-117 advantage.

Despite the high-octane level of play from the Pacers, Tatum ignited a personal scoring run in the most critical stretch of the overtime period to steer the Celtics back in front.

Tatum kicked off his overtime madness explosion with a pair of free throws when he got fouled in a dunk attempt.

After cashing in both shots in the charity stripe, Tatum scored a foul-counted layup followed by a huge three-pointer that gave Boston a 127-123 lead with only 43 seconds remaining.

The Celtics started the game with their usual pace and steady defensive schemes that helped them build their largest lead to as much as 13 points.

However, when the Pacers began to move the ball better, they knocked down more shots in the third quarter that marked the start of their comeback.

Unfortunately for the Pacers, several costly turnovers down the stretch of the fourth quarter and overtime allowed Boston to pull away and take the much-needed Game 1 win.

Tatum led the Boston assault with 36 big points, 12 rebounds, four assists, and three steals while Jrue Holiday flirted with a solid outing of 28 markers, eight dimes, seven rebounds, and three steals.