Pacers Fall in Heartbreaking Game 1 Loss to Celtics in Eastern Conference Finals

Pacers collapse in Game 1

The Pacers dropped Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals to the Celtics in a gut-wrenching fashion. Trailing by as many as 13 points in the third quarter, Indiana fought back to take the lead with under five minutes remaining in the fourth. However, the final moments of regulation unraveled disastrously.

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With a three-point lead and the ball with 10 seconds left, Indiana’s win probability was over 90 percent. But a series of turnovers and Jaylen Brown’s clutch 3-pointer forced overtime, where the Pacers fell short.


Indiana committed 21 turnovers in the game, with two critical ones in the final 30 seconds. Tyrese Haliburton’s unforced turnover and a subsequent sideline mishap allowed Boston to tie the game.

Jaylen Brown’s 3-pointer

Brown’s game-tying corner 3 over Pascal Siakam reignited the debate on whether teams should intentionally foul when leading by three.

Overtime Woes

In overtime, Haliburton’s three free throws briefly gave Indiana the lead. However, Jayson Tatum’s crucial plays and another costly turnover by Haliburton sealed Boston’s victory. The Pacers’ hopes diminished as turnovers and missed opportunities piled up, resulting in a 133-128 loss.

Rick Carlisle Takes Blame

Head coach Rick Carlisle accepted responsibility for not calling a timeout with 10 seconds left, which could have secured the win. Despite the errors, he encouraged his team to maintain their fighting spirit for Game 2.

Eastern Conference Finals Schedule

(1) Celtics vs. (6) Pacers — Boston leads 1-0

  • May 21: Celtics 133, Pacers 128 (OT)
  • May 23: Game 2, 8 p.m. (ESPN, Sling)
  • May 25: Game 3, 8:30 p.m. (ABC, Sling)
  • May 27: Game 4, 8 p.m. (ESPN, Sling)
  • May 29: Game 5* 8 p.m. (ESPN, Sling)
  • May 31: Game 6* 8 p.m. (ESPN, Sling)
  • June 2: Game 7* 8 p.m. (ESPN, Sling) *If necessary

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