NBA Playoffs 2023-24: Boston Celtics Sweep Indiana Pacers to Reach NBA Finals

The Boston Celtics secured their second NBA Finals appearance in three years by sweeping the Indiana Pacers 4-0 in the Eastern Conference Finals.

With 43 seconds remaining, White made the game-winning 3-pointer to give the Boston Celtics a 105-102 victory and, after a 4-0 sweep of the Indiana Pacers, their second trip to the NBA Finals in three years.

NBA Playoffs 2023-24: Boston Celtics Sweep Indiana Pacers to Reach NBA Finals

While his teammates celebrated on Monday night, Derrick White remained quiet at midcourt.

Long before Jaylen Brown accepted the MVP award for the Eastern Conference finals, he witnessed Jayson Tatum toss the ball far into the air, Al Horford sprint toward the coaching staff, and him searching for his son. Joe Mazzulla, the coach, even enjoyed the moment with his spouse.

After shooting the game-winning 3-pointer with 43 seconds remaining to give the Boston Celtics a 105-102 victory and their second trip to the NBA Finals in three years, White, on the other hand, was eager to get back to work. The Celtics defeated the Indiana Pacers 4-0 to advance to the NBA Finals.

Fantastic shot. We practice two-on-one reads all the time,” Brown stated following his 29 points, six rebounds, and crucial block on a jumper with 65 seconds remaining to maintain the advantage. “That was a big shot, a big shot to send us to the finals,” I told D White immediately before that.

Before converting the game-winning three-pointer from the corner, White only managed 16 points and just one of his eight threes. He appeared to have been overshadowed by Brown, Tatum (who finished with 26 points, 13 rebounds, and 8 assists), Jrue Holiday, and even Horford (who is 37 years old) up until that time.

However, White’s composed shooting proved to be the difference when the Celtics needed a basket to attempt to win their 18th NBA championship in franchise history. The shot will live on in Boston forever. The Celtics will now play in Game 4 of their Tuesday meeting between Dallas and Minnesota.

In the best-of-seven Western Conference finals, the Mavericks are up 3-0.
“We have answers for anything thrown at us, we feel comfortable and confident in any kind of game,” White remarked. “We just need to identify the appropriate ones.”

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One year ago today, the Boston Celtics defeated Miami in the conference finals, tying the series when White’s tip-in saved them from a 3-0 hole. However, the team lost Game 7 at home. They are 6-0 on the road, 3-0 in elimination games, and have won seven straight postseason games this season.

It was undoubtedly difficult to defeat the Pacers, who finished the season with two straight losses at a sold-out Gainbridge Fieldhouse after being undefeated 6-0 at home. Despite having leads or ties going into the last minute, Indiana lost three times in the series. On Monday, Boston’s final 3 1/2 minutes of play were shutout, repeating the previous instance.

Coach Rick Carlisle gave his squad a commitment to play hard to prolong the season, and this youthful club delivered on that pledge once again.

NBA Playoffs 2023-24: Boston Celtics Sweep Indiana Pacers to Reach NBA Finals

After Pacers center Myles Turner slammed guard White to the ground in the third quarter, there was a brief eruption of tempers. After Brown, the series MVP, grabbed Turner’s shoulder, Turner shoved Brown away. Both Brown and Turner were assessed technical fouls, while Turner was assessed an offensive foul.

Another terrifying incident occurred when T. J. McConnell was struck in the face by Brown’s hand and fell to the ground. The referees reviewed the replay and decided it was a common foul. However, the Pacers never gave up and the two altercations didn’t alter the back-and-forth nature of this game or this series.

Regarding his team’s performance both throughout the playoffs and without Haliburton, Carlisle remarked, “Our guys embraced it.” “Give the Celtics credit for their heroics in the closing moments of the previous two games. All they did was produce more plays.

Despite missing a chance to tie the game in the final seconds, Andrew Nembhard finished with 24 points, 10 assists, and 6 rebounds. The Pacers were never able to get the ball back. T.J. McConnell scored 15 points, Aaron Nesmith scored 14, and Pascal Siakam added 19 points and 10 rebounds for Indiana. However, the Celtics once more took control in the closing minutes.

Tatum’s slam with 3:12 remaining brought them within 102–100, and Brown’s mid-range jumper with 2:40 remaining leveled the score. White’s three later gave them the lead.

Between, Boston forced two turnovers, and with 1:05 remaining, Brown stopped Nembhard’s short shot at the hoop. With eight seconds remaining, Tatum missed a three-pointer, giving Indiana one more chance, but Jrue Holiday recovered the rebound and ran out the time before Indiana could foul.

“They took pride in their teamwork and battled us all the way to the end.” They were unwilling to give up,” Tatum remarked in relief. “All night, we missed bunnies.” We were overdue for one, I knew. That was a really risky move.

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