Celtics beat Pacers to take 2-0 series lead
BOSTON (AP) — Kyrie Irving scored 37 points and the Boston Celtics rallied late in the fourth quarter to beat the Indiana Pacers 99-91 on Wednesday night for a 2-0 lead in the first-round series
Coming out of a timeout with a chance for Indiana to tie it, the Pacers’ Wesley Matthews threw an inbounds pass into the bench on the other side of the court with 12.1 seconds left. On the ensuing play, the Celtics’ Al Horford passed to Jayson Tatum, who was fouled on a two-handed dunk. He completed the three-point play to make it 97-91 with 8.8 seconds left.
The Pacers turned it over again and the Celtics were able to close out the game at the free throw line.
Tatum scored 26 points, including a thunderous dunk down the stretch to help punctuate a 10-0 run by Boston over the final five minutes. Bojan Bogdanovic led Indiana with 23 points, and Thaddeus Young had 15.
Game 3 is Friday night at Indiana.
BUCKS 120, PISTONS 99
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 13 of his 26 points in Milwaukee’s big third quarter and the Bucks beat Detroit to take a 2-0 series lead.
Eric Bledsoe led the Bucks with 27 points, and Khris Middleton had 24. Milwaukee is trying win a series for the first time since 2001. Luke Kennard had 19 points for Detroit. Reggie Jackson and Andre Drummond each added 18, and Drummond had 16 rebounds. Detroit star Blake Griffin sat out again with a left knee injury, but received a technical for the second straight game for arguing from the bench.
After scoring 10 points and playing only 14 minutes in the first half because of foul trouble, Antetokounmpo scored Milwaukee’s first seven points in the third quarter. The Bucks outscored Detroit 35-17 in the period to take a 93-76 lead into the fourth.
Game 3 is Saturday night in Detroit.
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Center DeMarcus Cousins is unlikely to return this postseason for the Golden State Warriors yet won’t require surgery on his torn left quadriceps muscle.
Coach Steve Kerr has named Andrew Bogut as his starter in place of Cousins for Game 3 Thursday night of the team’s first-round playoff series against the Clippers in Los Angeles.
Playing in just his second career postseason game after a nine-year wait, the 28-year-old Cousins went down in the first quarter of a 135-131 Game 2 loss. Monday night. He fell in front of the Golden State bench after swiping a ball from Patrick Beverley in the back court. Cousins immediately grabbed at his left quad then hobbled to the locker room at the 8:09 mark.
The tear was revealed by an MRI exam Tuesday. The big man returned in January from a nearly yearlong absence while recovering from surgery for a torn left Achilles tendon.
“More than anything, I’m just crushed for DeMarcus,” Kerr said Wednesday. “He’s been waiting his whole career for this and the second game he goes down after putting all that work in to recover from the Achilles. He’s had a great season for us.”
For now, Cousins “needs to be comfortable,” said Kerr, so there isn’t a plan for how much he might be around the team for the remainder of the postseason.
Teammates Kevin Durant and Draymond Green wanted to respect Cousins’ space but planned to reach out.
“Just definitely thinking about him. I know for a fact with how much medicine is so good and doctors and all that stuff is so good, I’m sure he’ll be back fine, be back to 100 percent after his rehab, so I’m looking forward to that,” Durant said.
Bogut will step in to start for the two-time defending champions, a familiar face who re-signed last month for a second stint with the franchise after playing for the 2015 champions. He also played on the ‘16 team that won 73 games before losing to LeBron James and the Cavaliers in Game 7 of the finals.
“This is why we got him, just in case,” Kerr said.
Kevon Looney will also see increased minutes. He scored a career-high 19 points on 6-for-6 shooting in Game 1 while filling in for Cousins.
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