Victor Oladipo Carries Pacers To Impressive Road Win In Boston
Omar Rawlings | Getty Images
INDIANAPOLIS – Victor Oladipo is doing his part in making sure Indiana sports get the best of Boston teams.
In a week where Colts GM Chris Ballard tried to re-spark the Colts/Patriots rivalry, the Pacers did their part to appease local fans having animosity towards the New England area.
Oladipo’s 35 points on Friday night carried Indiana to a 97-91 victory over the best team in the Eastern Conference.
It was Indiana’s first win over the Celtics in their last 6 meetings.
Unlike recent weeks, the Pacers got off to a torrid start on Friday night.
Indiana shot 61 percent in the first quarter and took a 14-point lead over a Boston team that had just played in overtime the night before.
That cushion swelled to 26 points, before Brad Stevens’ bunch fought back.
The Celtics actually took their first lead of the game with a little more than 4 minutes to go in the final quarter.
But Indiana, again led by Oladipo, made the necessary plays down the stretch to earn one of their best wins of the season.
“They were just a lot fresher down the stretch, making plays, and Victor Oladipo getting downhill and making some tough shots and some pullups as well,” Boston All-Star guard Kyrie Irving said after the loss. “We had no reason being in that game anyway. We fought back, we battled back, but they came out and just really hit us in the mouth in the first half.”
Myles Turner had 19 points and 7 rebounds in a supporting role to Oladipo’s outstanding night.
After having Wednesday’s game cancelled in New Orleans due to a leaky roof, the Pacers certainly looked well-rested on Friday.
“We talked about it before the game, being calm, being clear, our three C’s, and being connected,” Nate McMillan said after his team moved to 31-25 on the season.
“We knew we had to play that way to get a win in this building, on the road. I thought our guys showed toughness from the start. We knew (the Celtics) were going to come back and give us a shot, and they did in the third quarter. Our guys just hung in there. They kept their composure, started to execute, moved the ball, and knocked down some shots.”
This was Darren Collison’s (left knee) second missed game since being ruled out through the All-Star break after undergoing arthroscopic surgery.
What’s Next: The Pacers (31-25) have 2 more games remaining before the All-Star break: New York (Sunday) and @Brooklyn (Wednesday).