Matchup 1: The Celtics get an up close and personal look at new Pacers
Let’s start with the first matchup, which occurred on February 27, 2022, just 19 days after the Pacers made the trade for Tyrese Haliburton, sending Domantas Sabonis to the Sacramento Kings.
In just his sixth game for Indiana, Haliburton showed why the Pacers traded a haul for him, as he put up 22 points and nine assists en route to his second win in a Pacers uniform. However, despite a fantastic performance, Haliburton was not the story of the game.
That would belong to former Pacer and current Celtic Oshae Brissett. In one of the highest-scoring games of his career against the contending Celtics, Brissett showed the league what he was made of, leading the team with 27 points on 6/9 from beyond the arc.
Brissett was doing it all scoring-wise on the night, hitting fancy layups and three-pointers and taking it strong to the rim with crafty behind-the-back dribbles.
In fact, Brissett was so hot that at one point, he hit a corner three and turned around and looked at the Pacers fans before it even went in, reminiscent of Stephen Curry.
In addition to Brissett and Haliburton’s nights, former Pacer and Celtic Malcolm Brogdon chipped in 20 points of his own to help the lottery-bound Pacers (without Myles Turner) defeat the eventual eastern conference champion Celtics 107-128, a surprising 21-point blowout over an unquestionably superior team.