The Celtics beat the Pacers behind Jaylen Brown’s 40 points to take a 2-0 lead in the East

Jaylen Brown tied his career playoff high with 40 points, 10 of which helped Boston rattle off 20 straight points in the first half to take the lead and Celtics defeat Indiana Pacers 126-110 on Thursday night for a 2-0 lead in the Eastern Conference Finals.

Next in Game 1, when his 3-pointer with 5.7 seconds left in regulation forced overtime, Brown helped Boston turn a five-point first-quarter deficit into a 15-point lead in second quarter.

Jayson Tatum And White Derrick each scored 23 points and Jrue holiday had 15 points and 10 assists for the top-seeded Celtics, who lost Game 2 in both previous series this postseason.

Pascal Siakam scored 28 goals for Indiana, which returns home for Games 3 and 4 on Saturday and Monday nights. Tyrese Haliburtonwho had 25 points and 10 assists in the opener, had 10 points and eight assists on Thursday before leaving the game in the third quarter with a sore left foot .

One game after the Celtics jumped out to a 12-0 lead and Indiana spent the rest of the first half clawing its way back, the lead changed hands 10 times in the opening quarter, with the Pacers leading 27- 22 with 1:14 left.

Boston then scored the next 20 points.

Indiana missed nine straight shots and committed four turnovers in a drought that lasted more than six minutes. Brown scored 10 points himself during the run and had 24 points at the half; he opened the third quarter with two quick baskets to give the Celtics a 61-52 lead.

But Siakam also looked hot in the second half, hitting four baskets in the first four minutes — a pair of 2s and a pair of 3s — to make it a two-point game. Boston took the lead again — this time for good, scoring 16 of the next 21 points.

Indiana never reached single digits again.

Brown scored 26 points Tuesday night, as the Celtics won thanks to some unforced errors by the Pacers — especially Haliburton — down the stretch. On Wednesday, Brown was left off the All-NBA team; His selection to the second team last year qualified him for a five-year supermax extension, making him the highest-paid player in the NBA.

Asked if he needed to talk to Brown about focusing on the team instead of disregarding the individual, Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla said before the game: “He’s a very mature guy so I don’t have to.”

“He has a great outlook on life,” Mazzulla said before the match. He knows what is important and what is not. “He works very hard and he knows who he is as a person and as a player. That’s the most important thing.”

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Associated Press reports.

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