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Aaron Nesmith admitted Pacers viewed beating Celtics as a ‘little revenge game’

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Morning Sports Update

Boston clobbered Indiana in November. The Pacers got a measure of payback by eliminating the Celtics from the NBA’s in-season tournament.

Aaron Nesmith during the Pacers’ win over the Celtics in the NBA’s in-season tournament. AP Photo/Darron Cummings

Aaron Nesmith’s reaction to beating his old team: Former Celtics guard Aaron Nesmith played an important role in the Pacers’ Monday night upset of Boston in the quarterfinals of the league’s in-season tournament.

Nesmith, 24, was drafted 14th overall by the Celtics in 2020, but was traded in the summer of 2022 as part of the deal that sent Malcolm Brogdon to Boston.

Facing his former team, the Indiana forward savored the win. After getting blown out by the Celtics 155-104 in November, the Pacers were clearly motivated to get a measure of payback.

“We all really looked forward to this game, especially with how we performed in Boston earlier this year,” Nesmith said in a postgame interview with Bally Sports. “This game meant more to us, not only for the in-season tournament but for a little revenge game.”

“That was a fun game,” Nesmith said of the contest. “Playoff atmosphere.”

In November, Nesmith reflected on his time with the Celtics. He credited being able to learn from veteran players while with Boston.

Describing how the Pacers approached playing the Celtics, he paid credit to the team’s talent level.

“Just be physical with them,” he said of Indiana’s defensive premise. “They’re phenomenal players, All-NBA players. Just make them take tough twos. I think [Bruce Brown and I] did a good job of that tonight. They’re going to score. They’re going to get theirs. So just don’t overreact. Don’t foul.”

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He credited teammate Tyrese Halliburton, specifically his four-point play, as the difference.

“When he hit that four-point play, that’s what allowed us to separate and really take control of the game late in the fourth quarter,” Nesmith explained. “My dunk was just an exclamation point, but I think that shot was the turning point.”

Trivia: Aaron Nesmith was one of three first-round picks the Celtics made in 2020. Can you name the other two players Boston picked in the same round that year?

(Answer at the bottom).

Hint: Only one is still with the Celtics. The other is with the Grizzlies.

Scores and schedules:

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The Celtics lost to the Pacers 122-112 in the quarterfinals of the NBA’s in-season tournament on Monday night. As a result, Boston was eliminated from the competition.

The Bruins will be back on Thursday, hosting the Sabres at TD Garden at 7 p.m.

The Patriots face a quick turnaround after losing to the Chargers on Sunday. New England will face the Steelers in Pittsburgh on Thursday at 8:15 p.m.

More from Boston.com:

The latest on Shohei Ohtani: The Blue Jays are reportedly a “serious player” to land MLB’s highest profile free agent.

Matthew Slater on the Patriots game getting flexed: The longtime Patriots special teams ace admitted he was disappointed that the upcoming game against the Chiefs was moved by the NFL from Monday night to a Sunday afternoon kickoff.

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Ski season is off to a strong start: While snow is not generally a welcome sight for Bostonians, skiers and snowboarders will be happy to hear that northern New England — or at least parts of it — already have midwinter conditions. Here’s an interesting view of how a small change in altitude can have a major effect on the rain-snow line.

On this day: In 1990, the Celtics topped the Nuggets 148-140 in a fantastically high-scoring game. Facing Paul Westhead’s up-tempo system, Boston relied on Larry Bird to keep pace. Bird’s 43 points, 13 assists, and eight rebounds guided the Celtics to the win.

Daily highlight: Luke Kornet provided a quality highlight in what was ultimately a disappointing night for the Celtics.

Trivia answer: Payton Pritchard, Desmond Bane



Source: Boston Globe

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