Indiana Pacers vs. Boston Celtics Pick & Prediction JANUARY 6th 2024

The Indiana Pacers will seek their seventh consecutive victory when they host the Boston Celtics in Indianapolis on Saturday night.

The Pacers set a franchise record with 50 assists and stretched their winning streak to six games with a 150-116 victory the visiting Atlanta Hawks on Friday. Indiana’s Tyrese Haliburton collected 18 assists, 10 points and eight rebounds.

Myles Turner led Indiana with 27 points. The Pacers received 18 points from Bennedict Mathurin, 17 from Bruce Brown and 15 from Aaron Nesmith.

“This is the epitome of what fun basketball is,” Turner said following Friday’s win. “Honestly, there’s different energy around the group. Guys are happy to come to work. I mean even when we have off days the entire team is there getting their work in. We’ve created such an environment here that makes it easy to have a night like this — to have 50 assists and have it feel like it’s normal.

“It’s fun for fans to come out and see our brand of basketball. It’s never boring.”

It was Brown’s second game back after he missed five games with a bone bruise in his right knee.

“We’re all unselfish, and we all can score the ball,” Brown said. “We’re playing the right way. Getting up and down (and) getting the easy ones, so it’s great basketball to see. … Just gotta keep playing the right way and we’ll continue to win.

“The Celtics are a great team. They’re first in the (Eastern Conference) right now. They play extremely hard. They have six, seven guys, eight guys, who can score the ball, so we gotta be ready.”

Boston is coming off Friday night’s 126-97 victory over Utah. The Celtics had a 36-point lead in the second quarter and rested their starters for much of the second half.

Boston tied a franchise record by scoring at least 120 points for the ninth straight game. The 1959-60 Celtics also had a streak of nine games with at least 120 points.

“Just moving the ball (and) trusting one another and doing what we do well — knowing your strengths and playing to them,” Boston’s Sam Hauser said. “I think we’re really starting to click as a team, and that’s pretty exciting.”

The Celtics have won 12 of their last 14 games.

Boston coach Joe Mazzulla said his team played a complete basketball game on Friday.

“Guys played together, and even though we built a lead, I thought we continued to play the right way on both ends of the floor,” Mazzulla said. “I think what you do in moments like that (when a team has a big lead), you just try to build habits, playing the right way offensively and competing defensively.”

Indiana has been without Andrew Nembhard for the last two games because of soreness in his back.

Saturday’s game will be the third between the Celtics and Pacers this season. Jayson Tatum had 30 points and 12 rebounds to lead Boston to a 155-104 victory on Nov. 1. The Celtics made 20 of 35 3-point attempts (57.1 percent).

Indiana made 19 of its 40 3-point attempts in the second meeting between the teams, a game the Pacers won 122-112 on Dec. 4. Haliburton led the Pacers with 26 points in that game, which was part of the NBA’s in-season tournament.

The Celtics and Pacers also will play Monday in Indiana.

–Field Level Media

Docsports, The most trusted name in sports handicapping