BOSTON — The pesky Indiana Pacers surprisingly waved the white flag with several minutes to spare in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Boston Celtics on Thursday night.

It’s not like the game was completely out of reach, either, with Indiana trailing by 14 points midway through the quarter. But instead of trying to chip away at the deficit, the Pacers packed it in and fell, 126-110, at TD Garden.

Two of Indiana’s starters in Myles Turner and Aaron Nesmith didn’t play a single minute in the fourth quarter while Pascal Siakam, who scored a team-high 28 points in the loss, played just 2:35 in the final frame. The Pacers were also without star guard Tyrese Haliburton after he left in the second half due to a leg injury.

The Pacers pulling their starters with a comeback bid still on the table was perplexing to Celtics star Jaylen Brown.

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“It was a little surprising,” Brown said. “I don’t know what the reasoning behind that was, but we focused on winning the game. I think that’s what our focus was. But yeah, that definitely was a little weird.”

The Pacers showed already in the series they could dig out of a hole as they overcame a 13-point deficit in the third quarter in Game 1. But Siakam didn’t seem too bothered by Indiana’s end-of-bench players like Jalen Smith, Doug McDermott and Jarace Walker being featured heavily in the fourth quarter.

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“Our depth has been everything for us and that’s the way we play,” Siakam said. “Whoever is out there on the floor has got to step up and we got to be together and try to do our best.”

Even with the Pacers going to their reserves, the Celtics didn’t let up. Celtics head coach Joe Mazzulla left Boston’s regulars on the court until 1:29 remaining in the game and the Celtics up 15.

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“Just to continue to lock in,” Jrue Holiday said of the situation. “We know that these guys that are coming off the bench, if it’s second or third string, this is their chance to make anything happen. And we know the first and second units of Indy, they’re going to play hard, but these guys are going to play even harder. We know on the big stage anything can happen and guys can make plays. Really just wanted to set the tone toward the end of the game and control the game.”

Featured image via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images