Celtics' great defense vs. Pacers in Game 1 summed up in two crazy stats


The Boston Celtics only scored 84 points in Game 1 of their first-round NBA playoff series against the Indiana Pacers on Sunday, but it still was enough for a victory because the C's defense was fantastic.

Boston held Indiana to just 74 points at TD Garden, including a 26-8 advantage in a pivotal third-quarter. The Celtics hadn't limited a team to so few points in a playoff game since the 2010 Eastern Conference finals triumph over the Orlando Magic.

The Pacers shot just 33.3 percent from the field (22.2 percent from 3-point range). The C's did a great job contesting shots without fouling and decisively won the rebounding battle 55-42. 

The Celtics ranked eighth in the league during the regular season in opponents points per game at 108, so they're more than capable of giving a defensive performance like the one seen Sunday, even with Marcus Smart out of the lineup.

There's no question the Celtics need to play a much more effective game on offense and protect the ball a lot better (17 turnovers in Game 1) if they're going to make a deep playoff run, but the team's defense in the series opener certainly was encouraging. It was a good example of the effort required to win the gritty games of the postseason.

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