Boston Celtics vs. Indiana Pacers Pick & Prediction JANUARY 30th 2024

The Indiana Pacers hope to have All-Star guard Tyrese Haliburton back in the lineup when they go on the road to face the Boston Celtics on Tuesday.

Haliburton has missed 10 of Indiana’s past 11 games with a hamstring strain, but he practiced with the team on Monday. He was injured in a victory over Boston on Jan. 8 and returned for the Pacers’ game at Portland on Jan. 19, but then sat out the next five games.

As of Monday night, Haliburton was listed as questionable for Tuesday’s contest.

Haliburton was selected as an Eastern Conference starter for this year’s All-Star Game, which will be played in Indianapolis on Feb. 18. He is averaging 23.6 points and a league-best 12.6 assists per game this season.

“The plan is to play (Tuesday) for me,” Haliburton said at Monday’s practice. “I’ll see how I feel in the morning when I wake up. That will kind of dictate that answer. But I feel good, ready to go. I think that the medical staff has done a good job preparing me to get back. Hopefully I’m ready to go tomorrow.”

The Pacers stretched their winning streak to three games by beating Memphis 116-110 at home on Sunday. Bennedict Mathurin scored 24 points off the bench for the Pacers, who took a 110-107 lead when Jalen Smith connected on a 3-pointer with 3:10 to play.

Smith finished with 19 points and 10 rebounds. Mathurin made 9 of 14 shots from the field, sinking three 3-pointers. He also grabbed seven rebounds.

In addition to Haliburton, the Pacers were missing backup point guard T.J. McConnell (personal reasons) and center Myles Turner (back spasms).

“I thought Mathurin was tremendous,” Indiana coach Rick Carlisle said. “In the first half when we couldn’t get anything going, he was making the right play every time. The right drive, the right pullup, the right read. He gave us a lot of life in the first and second quarters. Tremendous growth by him this year with those things.”

The Celtics avoided a third straight home loss by beating New Orleans 118-112 on Monday. Boston trailed by 11 early in the fourth quarter but outscored the Pelicans 37-20 in the final 10 minutes.

“We continued to defend regardless of how our offense was going,” Boston coach Joe Mazzulla said. “I think that’s the key. I thought we stayed the course, especially in the second half.”

Derrick White made five of his six field-goal attempts in the fourth quarter, when he tossed in 13 points. He made a 3-pointer that gave the Celtics a 99-98 lead with 5:05 to play, then drained another trey that pushed the lead to 107-101 with 3:05 remaining.

“Things weren’t going well for us most of that game, but we stuck together, got the stops that we needed to and made some shots (at the other end),” White said. “When things aren’t going well, it’s good to get a win still.”

Tuesday will be the fifth time the Celtics and Pacers have faced each other this season. The teams split the first four meetings, three of which were played in Indiana.

–Field Level Media

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