Jaylen Brown scored 23 points and Kyrie Irving added 19 to help the Boston Celtics beat the host Indiana Pacers, 104-96, on Friday night for a 3-0 lead in the first-round Eastern Conference series.
Irving also had 10 assists and 5 rebounds, and Jayson Tatum had 18 points and 7 rebounds for the Celtics, who can eliminate the Pacers on Sunday in Indianapolis.
“We’re all making sure we’re giving each other confidence and doing the little things to ensure we win,” Irving said. “When you have that type of camaraderie, executing is a lot easier. Now that the stakes are higher, we’re settling into who we want to be.”
Tyreke Evans matched his career playoff high with 19 points for Indiana, and Bojan Bogdanovic had 15, not enough to prevent the Pacers from losing their sixth straight to Boston in the regular season and the playoffs.
The Celtics’ defense again turned the game, allowing just 12 points in the third quarter, as they put the Pacers on the brink of their second series sweep in three years.
Indiana had erased a 15-point first half deficit to take a 61-59 halftime lead, and Myles Turner opened the third with a 3-pointer for the Pacers. But Boston charged back with 8 straight points to retake the lead and closed the quarter with a 9-2 run to make it 80-73.
Boston gave up 8 points in the third quarter of Game 1 and 12 in the fourth quarter of Game 2.
RAPTORS 98, MAGIC 83 Pascal Siakam had 30 points and 11 rebounds, Kawhi Leonard added 16 points, and Toronto held off host Orlando to take a 2-1 lead in their Eastern Conference first-round series.
Siakam was 13 for 20 from the field, and the Raptors held Orlando to 36 percent shooting. Terrence Ross led Orlando with 24 points, and Nikola Vucevic shook off a slow start to finish with 22 points and 14 rebounds.
Game 4 is Sunday night in Orlando.
The Raptors trailed, 61-60, midway through the third quarter before going on a 16-0 run over the next four minutes to take the lead for good.
Kyle Lowry’s 3-pointer with 7 minutes 48 seconds left gave Toronto its biggest lead, 86-69. The Magic rallied, and Ross’s 3-pointer with 41 seconds left cut the deficit to 96-93.
Leonard was short with a jumper on the next possession, but the Magic could not control the rebound. Leonard made two free throws with 12.9 seconds remaining to make it a two-possession game again, and that closed the scoring.
Orlando, which finished the regular season by winning 13 of its final 14 home games, was 13 of 44 from 3-point range.
THUNDER 120, TRAIL BLAZERS 108 Russell Westbrook had 33 points and 11 assists and Oklahoma City won at home against Portland to cut its Western Conference series deficit to 2-1.
Paul George added 22 points, Jerami Grant had 18 and Dennis Schroder 17 for the Thunder, who will host Game 4 on Sunday night.
Damian Lillard scored 32 points for the Trail Blazers, but he had just 3 in the fourth quarter after scoring 25 in the third. C.J. McCollum had 21 points, and Enes Kanter added 19.