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Playoffs 2019

NBA Playoffs 2019: Four takeaways from Boston Celtics four game sweep of Indiana Pacers

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Gordon Hayward [NBA Getty Images]

The Boston Celtics completed the four game sweep of the Indiana Pacers with a 110-106 Game 4 win.

In what was a back-and-forth game, the Celtics' separated themselves with a clutch 18-5 run toward the end of the fourth quarter to seal the win.

Gordon Hayward played terrifically down the stretch, finishing the game with 20 points off the bench on 7-for-9 shooting from the field and 3-for-3 shooting from long range.

Boston got other key contributions off the bench from Marcus Morris (18 points) and Terry Rozier (11 points) to pick up a slow scoring game from Kyrie Irving.

They now await their opponent for the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals, as the Milwaukee Bucks hold a 3-0 lead over the Detroit Pistons.

From more on Boston's deciding Game 4 victory, we have you covered with takeaways below.

Pacers' Third Quarter Woes

The third quarter has been the Achilles heel for the Pacers all series long. They've been outscored in the third 76-36 coming into Sunday's Game 4 and had posted quarter totals of eight and 12 points in the series.

As they have in three of the four games in this series, Indiana took a lead into the halftime break, the unfortunate part is they weren't able to hold that lead by the end of the third period. The Celtics once again outscored the Pacers in the third 26-23, although this time the margin wasn't as wide as it has been.

There are many reasons why the Pacers got swept in this series, one of them was their lack of ability to come out of the halftime break with any intensity.

Celtics' late fourth quarter run

With just over seven and a half minutes remaining in the game, the Pacers held an 82-80 lead with their backs against the wall trying to avoid elimination.

A Terry Rozier steal led to a Jayson Tatum dunk attempt in transition and when Cory Joseph hit him with a hard foul that was labeled a flagrant-1, Tatum knocked down the pair of free throws to tie the game and start the Celtics' run.

Boston went on an 18-5 swing from that point, using that momentum to ultimately decide the outcome of the game.

Marcus Morris knocked down a 3-pointer which was followed by an aggressive take by Gordon Hayward resulting in an and-1. The very next possession down Hayward rode his hot-hand burying a 3 to expand the Celtics' lead even further.

Kyrie Irving sacrificed his body into the first row to come up with a steal which led to a Tatum fast break dunk, then the run was capped off with another Morris 3-pointer to bury the Pacers.

After that run Boston held a commanding 98-87 lead with under three minutes remaining, leaving Indiana with no time to make a comeback to close out the series sweep.

Scary Terry

Terry Rozier knew ahead of this first round series that he had to fill the majority of the minutes displaced from the Celtics' injured defensive star Marcus Smart.

Rozier had stepped up in a big way for Boston in the playoffs a season ago, but after an underwhelming regular season campaign he had much to prove in this postseason.

From the jump in this series, Rozier reminded us of the impact he's capable of providing off the bench for his team.

Going into Game 4, Rozier's 11.8 net rating was the third highest on the team behind Al Horford (17.3 net rating) and Kyrie Irving (15.0 net rating). His shooting percentages were still down and his scoring remained quiet, but he picked up Smart's intensity on the defensive end and has done a great job rebounding and passing the ball.

In Game 4 it was more of the same as Rozier finished with 11 points off the bench on his way to a solid plus-nine plus/minus. He gave his team some extremely valuable minutes at the start of the fourth quarter where he buried a 3-pointer to expand upon their lead and came up with a couple steals on the defensive end.

His performance in this series was encouraging for the Celtics, who are unsure of when exactly Smart will return to the lineup. Should he miss some of the second round series against presumably the Milwaukee Bucks, Rozier has proved he's able to fill a similar role against the team he broke out against in last year's playoffs.

Turnovers

Boston had been one of the better teams in the regular season in terms of taking care of the ball only committing 12.8 turnovers per game - good for top three in the league.

The carefulness with the ball hasn't carried over to the postseason however as the C's have been one of the worst teams in the playoffs committing 15.7 turnovers coming into Game 4. The first half of Sunday's game was their worst half all year as they committed a season-high 11 turnovers in the first half.

They finished Sunday's game with 16 turnovers and were able to overcome the mistakes completing the sweep but if Boston plans on advancing beyond the second round of the playoffs they'll have to take much better care of the rock.

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