Kyrie Irving has sore knee, ruled out for second half vs. Pacers

Brad Stevens stays mum on Jaylen Brown’s replacement in Celtics lineup as bench thrives

The concussed Jaylen Brown and Al Horford, the latter sidelined with a fever, watched from home.

Moments later, Irving buried a fadeaway jumper to extend Boston's run to 16-2, opening up a 12-point Celtics lead. After a slow start to the game, the two teams went back and forth in the fourth quarter in what turned out to be a classic nail-biter. Boston's offense was sound to start but only managed to get 19 shots up.

While Marcus Smart brought the crowd to life on the next possession with a hand-in-his-face 3-pointer, Victor Oladipo fired right back with a 3-pointer of his own, creating a cushion for the Pacers.

The Celtics took a double-digit lead into halftime without any player scoring in double figures.

After Irving's departure, IN played with gusto IN building a 74-70 lead after three quarters and leading by as many as nine early IN the fourth. IN continued to struggle from the field, only scoring 16 points in the second frame. Irving had seven points on 3-of-6 shooting and four rebounds in 16 first-half minutes, but did not join the team on the court when the second half began and was ruled out shortly afterwards. Oladipo sparked the Pacers' furious rally with 13 points in the third.

More news: Flake Calls for 2020 Trump Primary Challenger

As the teams took the floor in the second half, Irving was conspicuously absent from the floor, leaving the Celtics without three of their top players. After Oladipo missed a jumper on the other end, rookie Jayson Tatum was fouled and sent to the free throw line where he hit both, tying the game at 95.

Unfortunately for Boston, Indiana had an answer.

Marcus Morris drew a charge on Oladipo during an inbounds play with 1.5 seconds left for a last gasp chance, but Terry Rozier front-rimmed a 3-point attempt.

Oladipo was trapped into giving up the ball on the next possession, but Myles Turner, posted against Marcus Morris, converted with 21 seconds left for a 97-95 IN lead. Tip-off from TD Garden is set for 8 p.m. ET.

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