Boston, MA– In today's NBA, a sweep in the post-season is incredibly rare, but the Boston Celtics, in the four seed, capitalized on every opportunity presented to them and trounced the Indiana Pacers in four games to eliminate them from the playoffs.
However, the first round series between the Celtics and Pacers was not as much of a one-sided affair as the series win totals might indicate. The Pacers held tough and pressured the Celtics in each game; they were never out of contention for a victory. The Celtics just played them harder and came away with a series of defensive-minded victories that saw their score improve in each game. As they went from 84 points to 99 to 104 to, finally, 110, when they won Game Four by a score of 110-106, the narrowest margin of victory for the Celtics in the series.
Game Four's play of the game was easily a razzle dazzle play that sent adrenaline flooding into the Celtics roster as Kyrie Irving came away with a steal, passed the ball to Marcus Morris, who then gave it over to Al Horford. Horford then set up Jayson Tatum for a monster slam and based on Morris' primal scream as a reaction, the Celtics knew that the series was theirs from that point on.
It was Gordon Hayward who led the way for the Celtics in the game as he dropped 20 points off the bench in his homecoming to Indiana. Morris added 18 of his own off the bench, which was matched by Tatum, who was a starter. Horford also added a double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds.
Boston now becomes the first team to punch their ticket to the second round of the NBA playoffs as one of the final eight teams remaining, and they are looking ahead to a matchup with either the Milwaukee Bucks or the Detroit Pistons. The path will only get tougher from here, but the Celtics have finally proven that they belong here. Let's hope they can keep it going!