Slumping Celtics fall behind Pacers by 30 points and are unable to catch up.

Slumping Celtics fall behind Pacers by 30 points and are unable to catch up.

The first half sees Indiana jump out to a sizable lead before holding off Boston to inflict the Celtics their third straight defeat and fifth in six games.

On Wednesday night, the Indiana Pacers defeated the struggling Boston Celtics 117-112 thanks to Tyrese Haliburton’s 33 points and a 30-point first-half lead.

Celtic, a former Celtics player With the help of Chris Duarte’s 14, Aaron Nesmith’s 15, and Myles Turner’s 10, the Pacers were able to win for the fourth time in five games.

After missing a game due to personal obligations, Jayson Tatum led Boston with 41 points, and point guard Marcus Smart was out due to a non-COVID sickness. Malcolm Brogdon scored 18 points for Boston, and Jaylen Brown added 19 points and 10 rebounds. The Celtics, who were leading the NBA a week ago, have lost three straight contests and five of six.

The Celtics, who were coming off a second straight home loss to Orlando, went behind by 30 points late in the second quarter before Tatum helped them get back in it.

At the half, Indiana led 71-43, and when the Celtics left the court, the TD Garden crowd booed them intermittently.

Midway through the fourth quarter, Tatum’s 3-pointer from the right wing reduced Boston’s deficit to seven points. A few minutes later, Brown’s 3-pointer brought the score to 111-106, but Haliburton immediately countered with a 3-pointer from the top, and the Pacers went on to win.

After taking a 19-point lead at the end of the first quarter, the Pacers went on an 11-0 run midway through the second to extend their lead to 59-30. Late in the first half, Nesmith’s 3-pointer from the left corner gave them their first of three 30-point leads.

Tatum overcame former teammate Nesmith with a strong slam and yelled angrily at the Pacers forward when he was fouled during the play. As the third quarter came to a close, Duarte banked in an off-balance 3-pointer from well out on the left wing, giving the Pacers a 100-85 advantage. The Pacers scored a season-high 42 points in the opening frame while shooting 61.5% (16 of 26) and making 8 of 11 3-point attempts. Early in the game, Boston’s Brown fell over a TV table at midcourt but quickly got back up. Al Horford, Derrick White, and Payton Pritchard, three of Boston’s starters, went scoreless in the opening period.

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Charles Krupa/Associated Press