NBA roundup: Celtics rally past Pacers for 2-0 series lead
Jayson Tatum buried a go-ahead 3-pointer with 50.8 seconds remaining Wednesday night, allowing the host Boston Celtics to overcome a late Indiana Pacers flurry and pull out a 99-91 victory in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference first-round playoff series.
With the fourth-seeded Celtics having successfully held serve on their home court to go up 2-0 in the best-of-seven set, the fifth-seeded Pacers will host Games 3 and 4 on Friday night and Sunday afternoon.
Indiana blew a 12-point, fourth-quarter lead. However, the Pacers appeared primed to even the series when Wesley Matthews and Bojan Bogdanovic combined for three 3-pointers in a 70-second spurt, allowing Indiana to retake a 91-89 advantage with 2:16 to go.
But the Pacers didn't score again, and the Celtics finally did when Tatum drilled his third 3-pointer of the game for a one-point lead in the final minute. The Celtics scored the game's final 10 points.
Rockets 118, Jazz 98
James Harden posted his third career postseason triple-double, and Houston recorded another rout of visiting Utah in Game 2 of a Western Conference first-round series.
Harden totaled 32 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists in the wire-to-wire victory. After Utah utilized an unorthodox defensive approach against Harden in the series opener, Harden exploded for 25 first-half points Wednesday on 8-of-15 shooting, including 5-of-9 accuracy on 3-point attempts.
He finished 11 of 24 from the floor, 6 of 13 from long distance. Harden, however, did commit a game-high eight turnovers. The Rockets will take a 2-0 series lead to Salt Lake City for Game 3 on Saturday.
Bucks 120, Pistons 99
Giannis Antetokounmpo sparked the decisive run in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference first-round series, scoring Milwaukee's first seven points of the second half in a win over visiting Detroit.
The top-seeded Bucks lead the best-of-seven series two games to none. Game 3 is scheduled for Saturday in Detroit, where the eighth-seeded Pistons will try to snap a 12-game postseason losing streak that dates back to 2008. That's tied for the second-longest postseason losing streak in NBA history, behind only the New York Knicks' 13 consecutive losses from 2001-12.
Antetokounmpo scored 13 of his 26 points during a third quarter in which the Bucks outscored the Pistons 35-17. He also grabbed a team-high 12 rebounds.
--Field Level Media
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