Boston, MA– Technically, the Boston Celtics could find their way into the three seed by usurping the Philadelphia 76ers, but they are a game and a half back of this spot with just two games left to play, so it definitely seems unlikely. Instead, the Celtics have set their sights upon locking up the number four seed in the Eastern Conference post-season and claiming home court advantage over the Indiana Pacers, who they dominated on Friday.
Washington will be the season finale for the Celtics and definitely a much easier team to defeat than Orlando because the Magic are currently fighting for their post-season lives and will undoubtedly be pulling out all the stops to make sure they clinch a spot in the playoffs. Boston's record is currently 48-32 and they are back in action at home tomorrow night versus Orlando. But for now, Boston is riding high after their third straight victory, a big one over the Pacers.
Facing off against their likely post-season opponent for the second time in a five game stretch, the Celtics systematically dismantled a team that has been ailing ever since they lost Victor Oladipo to injury. The Celtics pulled away early in the game and never relented as they downed the Pacers by a score of 117-97.
Leading the way for the Celtics was Jayson Tatum, who dropped 22 points in the game and added seven rebounds. In the starting lineup, Aron Baynes recorded a double-double and Kyrie Irving contributed with 17 points and six assists. The big story, however, was Gordon Hayward, who dropped 21 points off the bench on the heels of one hundred percent shooting from the field. Hayward has definitely come into his own as of late and he's become one of the players to watch as the Celtics complete their journey down the stretch run.