The Boston Celtics overcame the return of Indiana point guard Tyrese Haliburton to post a 120-95 home victory over the Pacers on Friday night.
Jayson Tatum scored a game-high 34 points and had seven rebounds for the Celtics, who made 18 3-pointers -- 14 more than the Pacers. Haliburton and Myles Turner each scored 20 points to lead Indiana, which trailed by 29 in the fourth quarter.
Haliburton, who entered Friday’s contest averaging 20.8 points and 10.4 assists per game this season, missed Indiana’s last six games with knee and ankle injuries. The Pacers went 3-3 during that six-game stretch. Indiana (33-41) is 5-14 this season in games when Haliburton hasn’t been available.
The Celtics (51-23) took control of the game in the third quarter, when Jaylen Brown scored 15 of his 27 points. A Brown layup capped an 11-0 run that put Boston up 71-57 with 10:17 left in the third. The Celtics led by 18, 90-72, when Brown made a jumper with 1:15 remaining in the quarter.
Boston had a 92-76 advantage entering the fourth and began the final quarter with a 17-4 spurt to extend its lead to 109-80.
Haliburton also had nine assists and six rebounds in the loss.
The Celtics were without guard Malcolm Brogdon, who was a late scratch because of back pain. Brogdon is averaging 14.5 points per game and is shooting 45.1 percent from 3-point territory.
The Pacers trailed by five points entering the third quarter despite shooting 56.5 percent from the field (26 of 46) in the first half. The Celtics led 34-32 after one quarter and 60-55 at halftime.
Derrick White made five 3-pointers and added 22 points for the Celtics.
Boston won two of the three meetings with Indiana this season. The Pacers haven’t won the season series against Boston since 2015-16.
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