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Indiana Pacers out to prevent Boston Celtics from 4-0 start to NBA regular season

Jaylen Brown scored 27 of his game-high 36 points in the first half of the Boston Celtics’ 126-107 road victory against the Washington Wizards on Monday. PHOTO: AFP UPDATED   1 HOUR AGO FacebookX  

BOSTON – Eastern Conference leaders Boston Celtics will attempt to extend their National Basketball Association (NBA) winning streak to four games at TD Garden, where they face the visiting Indiana Pacers on Wednesday night.

The Celtics have not started a season with more than three straight victories since the 2009-10 season, when they won six a row.

Boston are coming off Monday’s 126-107 road victory against the Washington Wizards, with guard Jaylen Brown scoring 27 of his game-high 36 points in the first half. He tied a franchise record by making seven three-pointers in the first half and finished eight of 13 from behind the arc.

Raef LaFrentz, Kemba Walker and Derrick White are the other Celtics who have made seven three-pointers in one half.

“Just got in a good rhythm. I had some good open looks and took advantage of it. Came out and hit some shots. We got some stops on defence. Just coming out and having some fun,” Brown said.

The Celtics led 42-19 after 12 minutes and opened the second quarter in a full-court press.

“I think that’s important to keep that mentality of attacking and being aggressive regardless of the score,” Boston coach Joe Mazzulla said.

Second-place Indiana (2-1) began the season with victories over Washington and the Cleveland Cavaliers, but were outscored 34-22 in the fourth quarter of a 112-105 home loss against the Chicago Bulls on Monday. The Pacers shot 12 of 46 (26.1 per cent) from three-point range against the Bulls.

“The quality of our threes could have been better. This was a big boys’ game, physical. We’ve got to learn from it,” Indiana coach Rick Carlisle said.

Myles Turner led the Pacers with 20 points. Tyrese Haliburton finished with 19 points and 13 assists, and Bennedict Mathurin and Bruce Brown each tossed in 15 points.

“I felt like overall we got some good looks, just didn’t fall tonight. They got stops when they needed to, forced some tough ones late but I think for the majority of the game we got (the shots) that we wanted to get,” Haliburton said.

Brown is not the only offensive threat the Pacers have to worry about. Jayson Tatum scored 33 points in Monday’s victory over the Wizards, and Kristaps Porzingis finished with 15. Porzingis, who joined the Celtics in the off-season, is averaging 20.7 points and 7.7 rebounds in his first three games.

He said: “This is a very, very talented team, and I think I fit really well with these guys, and it’s been really smooth to get adjusted to playing with these guys but, in terms of my game, I think I’m going to get much, much better. Just working my way into top shape.”

Haliburton leads the Pacers in points (20.0) and assists per game (12.3), while Turner is the team’s leading rebounder (10.3). However, All-Star Haliburton and Mathurin have both been declared doubtful to face the Celtics. REUTERS