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Boston Sweeps Indiana, Gains NBA Finals; Jaylen Brown Tows Celtics to Victory, 105-102


PhilBoxing.com



Brown (with the ball) and Tatum (0) spearhead Celtic's win over Pacers in Game 4.

Boston books another return to the NBA Finals with a down the wire 105-102 win over a fighting Indiana Pacers squad in the fourth game of their Eastern Conference Finals at the Gainbridge Fieldhouse Arena in Indiana.

With the victory, Boston won the best of seven series, 4-0 with two wins at home and another two on the road.

The sweep of Indiana though does not come close to encapsulating the struggle the Celtics had to go through in the series as Boston had to make do without its regular center Kristaps Porzinghis in the face of the Pacers height advantage.

Significantly, the series highlighted for the nth time the value of the tandem of Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum and the re-emergence of reserve center Al Horford as a tower of power who can hit the three when needed.

The series likewise accentuated the important contributions of the other Boston regulars and reserves.

But in particular, this fourth game brought to fore the gem of a player that is Jaylen Brown: A game tying basket, a steal, a block and the game winning assist all in just the last two minutes of the game.

It was a dogfight from the opening tip with Indiana, fully aware of the importance of this game, throwing everything that it's got.

Again the Pacers gambled on its version of Twin Tower in Myles Turner and Pascal Siakam to dominate the painted area.

Missing ace guard Tyrese Haliburton, Indiana shuffled a corps of big backcourt men in Andrew Nembhard, Aaron Nesmith, Ben Sheppard and TJ McConnel who could hit from afar and likewise slash to the basket. Coming off the bench were Obi Toppin, Isiah Jackson and Doug McDermott, all 6-6 and above.

Boston responded with the frontline consisting of Brown and Tatum at forward and Horford at center and the backcourt of Derreck White and Jrue Holiday. Coming off the bench are Payton Pritchard, Sam Hauser and Xavier Tillman.

The Celtics were again at disadvantage in length and ceiling but not in experience and definitely not in grit and smarts.

It was nip and tuck right from the start with Boston leading 58-57 by half time and Indiana edging ahead by the end of the third quarter, 83-80.

With Boston starting the final quarter with a shotclock violation, the Pacers made the move to extend its lead to five, 85-80. They later sustained their momentum, leading as high as nine, 94-85 with three minutes gone on the exploits of TJ McConnell.

Boston fought back to cut the margin to four, 94-90 through Holiday and Brown before Indiana moved away again, 98-92 with four minutes left.

The two teams would exchange misses with Boston still managing to come close 100-98 on the efforts of Holiday.

Siakam and Tatum would trade baskets to make it 102-100.

Then Brown made his move.

First, he tied the score at 102-all then after failed tries from both teams, he would steal the ball from Siakam. He would then block a Nembhard layup. With time down to 40 seconds, he would feed White for the winning trey, 105-102.

Indiana never scored another basket after that.

Capping his heroics, Brown topscored for the Celtics with 29 points followed by Tatum with 26 points and 13 rebounds. But was a total team effort really with Holiday scoring 17 points, White 16 points, Horford 7 points and 8 rebounds, Pritchard and Hauser adding 5 points each.

Nembhard led the Pacers' losing cause with 24 points followed by Siakam with 19 points and 10 rebounds, McConnell 15 points, Nesmith 14 points, Toppin 12 points. Turner just managed 8 points.

Boston will meet in the NBA Finals most likely the Dallas Mavericks which lead Minnesota Timberwolves in the Western Conference Finals series 3-0.

The author Teodoro Medina Reynoso is a veteran boxing radio talk show host living in the Philippines. He can be reached at teddyreynoso@yahoo.com and by phone 09215309477.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Teodoro Medina Reynoso.


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