Celtics Wrap: Boston Can’t Complete Comeback, Fall To Pacers

The Celtics trailed by 30 points in the first half


Dec 21, 2022

BOSTON — The Celtics have lost three consecutive games for the first time all season as their comeback bid Wednesday night against the Pacers fell short with Indiana securing a 117-112 win at TD Garden.

The Celtics have slipped to 22-10 while the Pacers get back to the .500 mark with a 16-16 record.

Check out the full box score here.

This should be the question top of mind for every Celtics fan: Where was that effort and intensity in the first half?

Boston trailed by as many as 30 points in the first half to a less-talented Indiana squad, which is just inexcusable. The Celtics didn’t have any sense of urgency to start despite coming into the matchup having lost four of their previous five games.

That changed in the second half with Boston getting as close as five points, but it was too little too late for the home team.

The Pacers did nothing flashy in the first half except outwork the Celtics on both ends of the floor. Boston looked completely disjointed offensively, a bizarre turn of events after their stellar production on that end of the floor not too long ago.

This felt like the Celtics of last season when they would sleepwalk against inferior opponents with uninspired performances before trying to play catch up.

That’s an extremely bad habit for Joe Mazzulla’s squad to start falling into.

— Tyrese Haliburton was the best player on the Pacers as he poured in 20 of his team-high 33 points in the first half. He dished out eight assists as well.

— Jayson Tatum tried to will the Celtics back in the second half as he netted a game-high 41 points, with two of those points coming on one monster, poster slam dunk.

— Aaron Nesmith had a point to prove against his former team despite talking highly of the Celtics after they traded him this offseason. The third-year pro brought his typical high energy to notch 15 points, six rebounds, three assists and two steals.

Al Horford went scoreless in the first half but just over a minute into the third quarter, he cleared the over/under of 1.5 threes made with back-to-back triples. DraftKings Sportsbook set the odds of Horford hitting the Over at -145, meaning a $100 bet would a netted a total of $168.97.

The Celtics will look to turn things around once again when the Minnesota Timberwolves come to town Friday. Tipoff from TD Garden is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET.

Thumbnail photo via Brian Fluharty/USA TODAY Sports Images
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