Home Sports Scalabrine: C’s gave ‘championship-level performance’ in Game 3

Scalabrine: C’s gave ‘championship-level performance’ in Game 3

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Scalabrine: C's gave ‘championship-level performance' in Game 3

Scalabrine: C’s gave ‘a championship-level performance’ in Game 3 originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The Boston Celtics’ Game 3 victory over the Indiana Pacers wasn’t the prettiest, but it still may have been their most impressive postseason performance yet.

After taking an early nine-point lead, the C’s found themselves down by 18 in the second quarter as Indiana pounded them in the paint. The Pacers were virtually unstoppable inside the arc through the first two frames, shooting 69.4 percent on 3-pointers en route to a 69-point first half.

The Celtics woke up defensively in the second half, limiting Indiana to 18 of 47 (38.3 percent) shooting. They reduced their deficit and regained the lead late in the fourth quarter. Jrue Holiday’s steal with seconds left sealed his victory. Victory 114-111.

The thrilling comeback puts Boston one win away from a spot in the NBA Finals. While it took the C’s all 48 minutes to finish off an undermanned Pacers team, Eddie House came away pleased with his resilient effort.

“At the end of the day, the Boston Celtics are in a battle tonight and everyone is going to say, ‘Well, who were they playing? ‘They didn’t have (Tyrese) Halliburton out there,'” the 2008 NBA champion said on Celtics postgame live. “They’re going to make every excuse possible for the fact that we weren’t in battle, right? Because everyone says, ‘Well, the West has been tested in battle.’ …

“This was a tough game and we persevered. We found our resilience, we showed up. And that’s why we went and got Jrue Holiday. Let’s talk about it!”

Fellow analyst Brian Scalabrine joined House to gush about how the Celtics handled business after trailing by double digits on the road.

“I would say this is a brave victory,” he said. “There are a lot of times when you think they’re down and out. They gave up a three-pointer, they gave up an and-one… but they kept going… (The) Pacers played good basketball today. They weren’t two teams limping to the end .The Celtics were still answering the call. At one point you think, ‘Man, are they going to get back into this game?’ TJ McConnell comes in, takes that lead to nine, kills, kills, kills… 15-4 to close the game and they win this game.

“This was a championship-level performance, from start to finish. I only saw two or three lulls, which are those things that happen in the game. I love the way they responded today to the adversity of being in Indiana to go up 3-0.”

Holiday’s heroics prevented the C’s from ruining the stellar performances of Jayson Tatum and Al Horford. Tatum finished with 36 points (12-23 FG, 5-10 3-PT), 10 rebounds, eight assists, two blocks and one steal. Horford, 37, scored 23 points and was 7 of 12 from 3-point range, making him Oldest player to make seven 3-pointers in a playoff game.

Boston will look to punch its ticket to the Finals on Monday night in Indiana. Tip is scheduled for 8 pm ET and coverage begins at 7 pm with Celtics pregame live on NBC Sports Boston.

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