The Indiana Pacers just picked up what may be their biggest win of the season, taking down the Boston Celtics in the quarterfinals of the In-Season Tournament and punching their ticket to Las Vegas.
It was an absolutely electric game, with a ton of lead changes taking place throughout. By the end of the fourth quarter, however, Indiana managed to pull ahead.
The Celtics struggled to hit their threes and committed 17 turnovers on the night. Meanwhile, the Pacers were rock solid in almost all aspects of the game.
And perhaps most impressively, the Pacers held Boston to just 112 points - their second-lowest total allowed this year. Let’s check out two studs and one dud from the contest.
Stud - Aaron Nesmith
Going up against his former team, Aaron Nesmith stepped up to the plate. The Pacers wing was absolutely electrifying in this game, getting it done on both ends of the court.
Nesmith took on the challenge of guarding Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown for stretches, and his physicality kept them from getting everything they wanted.
He finished the game with 14 points, one rebound, one assist, and one block while shooting 6-of-10 from the field and 1-of-3 from beyond the three-point arc.
While his counting stats may not look all that impressive, the hustle and grit he played with throughout the game helped lead the way for the Pacers. He was a real X-Factor for Indiana.
Having a guy like Nesmith on the bench is such a huge help for the Pacers, especially on the defensive end, and he proved that on Monday night.