BOSTON — Celtics head coach Joe Mazzulla has stayed away from small-ball lineups in the postseason.

But Mazzulla broke one out that proved effective in Boston’s 126-110 win over the Indiana Pacers in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals on Thursday night at TD Garden.

It wasn’t exactly by choice that Mazzulla put the seldom-used Oshae Brissett on the floor and shifted Jayson Tatum to the center spot. Luke Kornet exiting the game in the first quarter with a left wrist sprain put it as a clearer option on the table for Mazzulla.

And Mazzulla was ready to adapt since he knew he needed to be on his toes given the multitude of lineups the Pacers can trot out.

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“It was a plan just to say open-minded,” Mazzulla said. “I knew every game was going to be different, especially with these guys and their ability to just put pressure on you in different ways with their lineups. It was a plan to get to something like that eventually. We were kind of forced into it.”

Either way, the Celtics got good results from it as it presented a different and more athletic look on both ends of the floor that the Pacers had trouble adjusting to. When the Celtics went to it midway through the third quarter — Brissett, Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Derrick White and Payton Pritchard shared the floor together — they started to pull away from the Pacers and extended their lead to double digits.

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“I thought it went well,” Mazzulla said. “I liked the speed, I liked the athleticism, I liked the spacing that we had. It presents strengths and some weaknesses that we have to be ready for. But I think the open-mindedness throughout the year to play different ways kind of prepared us for situations like this.”

The lineup change also took buy-in from Tatum and the Celtics star was more than willing to take on a new role.

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“I think it allowed us to play a little bit faster,” Tatum said. “Each game presents different challenges. We always talk about we just got to be open to different things. Whenever your number is called, whatever you’re asked to do, just be ready to do it.”

Brissett was the key piece in making the smaller lineup come together, though. It was his first time this postseason receiving meaningful rotation minutes and he made the most of them.

Brissett made an impact in his 12 minutes by recording two points, three rebounds and three steals to finish with a plus-18 rating, which was tied for the best mark on the team with Jaylen Brown.

“Just his presence, his energy, his athleticism,” Mazzulla said. “I think he had a dunk, got steal that started transition, couple rebounds. He plays with such a high level of intensity and energy. It’s big for us.”

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Featured image via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images