Irving's injury costs Celtics in hard-fought game vs Pacers


BOSTON --  Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds from Boston’s 99-97 loss to the Indiana Pacers.


Victor Oladipo: He is developing into one of the game’s elite guards right before our very eyes. He delivered some clutch plays down the stretch for the Pacers, leading all scorers with 27 points on 10-for-20 shooting to go with four assists and a blocked shot. 

Marcus Smart: Even before Kyrie Irving was lost for the second-half of Sunday’s game, Marcus Smart was having a nice game for the Celtics. He led all Celtics with 20 points which included him shooting 6-for-12 from 3-point range. He also had eight assists and four steals.



Myles Turner: When it wasn’t Oladipo, often it was Myles Turner answering the call with a big shot for the Pacers. He tallied a double-double of 19 points on 8-for-13 shooting, to go with 10 rebounds. He also had three of Indiana’s seven blocked shots. 

Jayson Tatum: He didn’t shoot the ball nearly as efficient as he would have liked (he was 5-for-11 from the field), but he came up with some big plays down the stretch, leading all Celtics with nine points in the fourth. For the game, he had 19 points, five rebounds, three assists and two blocked shots.



Kyrie Irving’s left knee: There was no bigger factor in this game’s outcome than Kyrie Irving’s left knee which proved to be too sore for him to play in the second half. Put it like this: At the half, Boston had a 10-point (50-40) lead. After one Irving-less quarter, Boston went into the fourth trailing 74-70. Give the Pacers credit. They did a lot of good things to get the win, obviously. But considering how the game was going with Irving and how dramatically it changed when he was out for the game, without question that damn knee of his was a major contributor to the final score.


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