Celtics will rest Kyrie Irving

Kyrie Irving has sore knee, ruled out for second half vs. Pacers

Al Horford missed the Boston Celtics' game against the Indiana Pacers due to illness. "I think he got kneed, but I don't think that that's anything more than a knee-to-knee or knee-to-thigh - right above his knee".

"I think [rest] will probably be the best thing, just instead of kind of hoping it gets better over the two or three days that it usually does", Irving said, via ESPN . The Celtics held a 50-40 lead going into the second half, but without Kyrie, the ball movement and the shooting took a turn for the worse.

"If he doesn't feel 100 percent, then we need to have him sit, and so I think that that is something that we've all talked about, and [that's] why he didn't come back in [against Indiana]", Stevens added.

"We talk about being calm, and being poised", said IN coach Nate McMillan, who had already seen his team blow last-minute lead to Boston when the teams met IN December.

Irving's knee isn't the only injury the Celtics are dealing with at the moment.

"He walked into the training room as I was leaving", Stevens said.

Turner outfought Marcus Morris in the post for a layup with 21 seconds left.

Coming into this game, the Celtics were heavy favorites despite a report that Al Horford was not going to play because of sickness. "We were just trying to figure out ways to keep ourselves in it". Meanwhile, Smart had 20 points and Tatum scored 19 for the Celtics.

Irving played 16 first-half minutes but did not return for the start of the second half. By the end of the game, three more Celtics were put on the injury report.

Smart answered with a double-teamed 3-pointer, and when Oladipo answered from downtown, Smart hit his second straight 3, this time kissing it off the glass to cut the IN lead to 93-89.

Boston nearly made things heart-stopping again for the Pacers after Morris drew a questionable offensive foul call on Oladipo with 1 second to play.

Irving is the Celtics' leading scorer, and his average of 24.4 points per game ranks 11th in the National Basketball Association.

The Pacers rallied to beat the Celtics on Sunday night.

"Obviously, it was a tough situation for our team", Stevens said. "I thought they battled". Without him, however, they won't have much of a chance when games really count in May and possibly into June.

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