Boston Celtics snuck by Indiana in the NBA on Friday, and Kyrie Irving's play in the clutch sealed the deal for the Celtics. Irving weaved his way to the basket to hit a game-winning lay up, lifting his team to a 114-112 victory.
Irving finished with a game-high 30 points, five assists and three steals. He was trailed by Al Horford, who scored 19 points.
The win could prove very important in terms of post-season seeding. Both Boston and Indiana are 45-31, but the victory gives the Celtics fourth place in the Eastern Conference via its 2-1 advantage in its season series with the Pacers, the first tiebreaker. The two teams play a final time April 5 in Indiana. If Indiana wins that game and the two teams are tied in the standings at the end of the season, the next tiebreaker is conference record. Boston holds a slight advantage over Indiana, 31-15 versus 30-16, in that tiebreaker.
Bogdan Bogdanovic lit up Boston for 27 points on 4-of-7 shooting from beyond the arc. Five other Pacers finished in double digits. The Celtics has now won two straight while Indiana has dropped two in a row.
- STUDS OF THE NIGHT -
- Damian Lillard scored a game-high 36 points to lift Portland past Atlanta 118-98.
- Russell Westbrook totaled 29 points, nine rebounds and nine assists in the Thunder's 115-105 loss to the Nuggets.
- Stephen Curry scored 37 points and made 11 3-pointers in Golden State's 131-130 loss to Minnesota.
- DUDS OF THE NIGHT -
- Maurice Harkless scored eight points on 3-of-10 shooting in the Trail Blazers' win.
- Kyle Korver scored five points on 1-of-6 shooting in the Jazz's 128-124 victory over the Wizards.
- HIGHLIGHTS -
Wizards forward Jabari Parker rises above Rudy Gobert and finishes with a slam.
Nerlens Noel stuffs a dunk attempt by Denver's Malik Beasley in Oklahoma City's loss.
- What's Next? -
Celtics (45-31) at Nets (38-38) — Brooklyn has dropped to seventh in the Eastern Conference standings. Boston has been inconsistent throughout the season, but beat the Pacers Friday to move up to fourth in the Eastern Conference. Both sides are looking to optimise their results the final six games for more favorable post-season matchups.