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NBA play-offs: Boston Celtics take 2-0 series lead over Indiana Pacers

The Boston Celtics took a 2-0 lead in the Eastern Conference Finals with a comfortable 126-110 win over the Indiana Pacers.

After a below-par display in game one, the Celtics found their rhythm at the TD Garden as Jaylen Brown scored 40 points to equal his best in a play-off game.

Brown was left out of the All-NBA selection on Wednesday, with the 27-year-old failing to make a list of the league’s top 15 players for the season.

But he underlined his importance to the Celtics by top scoring against the Pacers, with Jayson Tatum and Derrick White both contributing 23 points.

“I think he (Brown) cares about it in a way that motivates him, and I think he doesn’t really care about it at all,” Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla said about Brown’s omission.

“He understands that winning is the most important thing. He just cares about the right stuff.”

The Pacers lost star player Tyrese Haliburton in the third quarter to a left hamstring injury.

Haliburton, who had 10 points and eight assists by the time he was forced off, missed 10 games in January with a similar injury.

Pascal Siakam, who scored 28 points for Indiana, says Haliburton’s potential absence cannot be allowed to distract the team in the best-of-seven series.

“We need Tyrese but ‘next mentality'”, said Siakam.

“We’ve got to play together. This team got where we are by playing together and it’s on us to continue.”

The Pacers host games three and four on Saturday and Monday, having won 11 straight games at home.

The Dallas Mavericks lead the Minnesota Timberwolves 1-0 in the Western Conference Finals. Game two of that series is played on Friday.

The winners will meet in the NBA Finals and game one will be broadcast live on BBC One from 01:30 BST on Wednesday, 7 June.

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