Boston Celtics 99 – Indiana Pacers 91
The Indiana Pacers could taste a win to steal homecourt on Wednesday night, but they just couldn’t execute down the stretch to secure the win as the Boston Celtics took a 2-0 lead with the series heading to Indiana.
As much as Indiana tried stealing one in Boston, they encountered the same problems they faced in Game 1 – they could not generate enough offense, and they had lulls in the second and fourth quarters. Their 17-point second quarter hurt, but still had them in the game, especially after they scored 29 in the third and limited Boston to just 16 points.
But in the final stanza, the tables were turned as the Celtics finished strong, scoring 31 points and keeping Indiana to just 12 points.
Kyrie Irving got hot on his way to a 37-point performance and Jayson Tatum added 26 points. Only one additional player, Gordon Hayward, broke double digits with 13 points, but Boston’s defense and Irving’s play made up for that. Indiana was led by Bojan Bogdanovic with 23 points. Thaddeus Young added 15.
Game 3 is slated for Friday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
Milwaukee Bucks 120 – Detroit Pistons 99
The Milwaukee Bucks may be well on their way to a sweep over the Detroit Pistons in the first round. The Pistons have yet to show that they can play with the Bucks and they have been blown out of both games so far.
Once again, Milwaukee came out firing, scoring 38 points to Detroit’s 27 in the first quarter. While the Pistons had a bounce-back quarter in the second, outscoring the Bucks by 12 points, that trend would stop in the second half. The Bucks put up 62 second-half points to the Pistons’ 40 as they strolled to another win.
For the Pistons, once again it was Luke Kennard who even gave them a chance. He had 19 points and knocked down 4-of-6 three-point attempts. Andre Drummond had a better game with 18 points and 16 rebounds, but his plus/minus ratings are still atrocious through two games.
For the Bucks, they had more balanced scoring as Eric Bledsoe went for 27 points, Giannis Antetokounmpo added 26 and 12 rebounds, Khris Middleton scored 24 and Pay Connaughton came off the bench for 18.
Milwaukee will now travel to Detroit for the next two games, beginning with Game 3 on Saturday.
Houston Rockets 118 – Utah Jazz 98
The Utah Jazz may be all out of the magic that saw them get farther than expected in last year’s playoffs. They drew a juggernaut in the first round in the Houston Rockets and have not found a solution yet.
Wednesday night’s game started badly for the Jazz and they just couldn’t recover after giving up 70 first-half points and only managing to score 44 themselves.
The Rockets never trailed and were only outscored in the fourth once the game was long over and most of the starters were pulled.
James Harden had a triple-double with 32 points, 13 rebounds, and 10 assists. Chris Paul added 17 points, and Eric Gordon and PJ Tucker had 16 apiece.
Just about all of Utah’s starters struggled. Donovan Mitchell shot 5-of-19 from the field and 1-of-8 on threes for 11 points.
The Jazz will be looking to turn things around when they are back home for Game 3 on Saturday night.
Philadelphia 76ers at Brooklyn Nets Game 3 – Barclays Center – 8:00 p.m. ET – TNT
Denver Nuggets at San Antonio Spurs Game 3 – AT&T Center – 9:00 p.m. ET – NBA TV
Golden State Warrios at Los Angeles Clippers Game 3 – Staples Center – 10:30 p.m. ET – TNT