Kyrie Irving exits game versus Pacers with left knee soreness

  • Kyrie Irving exits game versus Pacers with left knee soreness

Kyrie Irving exits game versus Pacers with left knee soreness

Boston was already without the services of All-Star center Al Horford (illness) and shooting guard Jaylen Brown due to his concussion sustained earlier this week in a scary fall against the Minnesota Timberwolves. But Marcus Smart (20 points) and Terry Rozier (16 points) picked up the slack and nearly lifted the C's to a stunning win. Boston's offense was sound to start but only managed to get 19 shots up. Six Pacers in all are averaging double figures. After both Morris and Tatum were limited to two first-quarter points, each forward responded with six in the second to help Boston snag a 50-40 advantage at the break.

Leading by just three points, Myles Turner connected on his seventh field goal of the night, a jumper from the elbow, putting IN up 88-83 with 2:47 remaining.

Irving played 16 first-half minutes but did not return for the start of the second half.

By the time the third quarter came to an end, the Pacers had outscored the Celtics 34-20, taking a four-point lead into the fourth quarter.

As the teams took the floor in the second half, Irving was conspicuously absent from the floor, leaving the Celtics without three of their top players. Rozier missed a driving layup with 15 ticks to play, and Oladipo made two free throws with 10.4 left.

Unfortunately for IN, while trying to inbound the ball, Victor Oladipo was called for an offensive foul, giving the Celtics one last look at a chance to win or tie the game.

Rozier's straightaway 3-pointer with 1:06 remaining brought the Celtics within 95-93 and, after a missed jumper by Oladipo, Tatum made two free throws with 36.5 seconds left to tie it. Myles Turner muscled through Morris for the go-ahead bucket with 19 seconds left and Rozier couldn't convert a scoop layup on the ensuing possession.

A great pass from Rozier and a smooth finish from Daniel Theis. Tip-off from TD Garden is set for 8 p.m. ET.