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Jaylen Brown's 40 points lead Boston Celtics to Game 2 win over Indiana Pacers in East Finals

BOSTON -- After hitting the biggest shot of his career in Game 1, Jaylen Brown went out and hit a whole bunch of shots Thursday night to lead the Celtics to a Game 2 victory over the Indiana Pacers in the Eastern Conference Finals.

Two days after hitting a game-tying three at the end of regulation -- and one day after being snubbed from an All-NBA team -- Brown went off for 40 points to lead the Celtics to a 126-110 victory at TD Garden. It's the second 40-point game of his postseason career, and the 11th time that Brown has scored at least 30 points in a playoff game.

Brown's offensive eruption now has the Celtics two wins away from returning to the NBA Finals for the second time in three seasons.

Brown had it going in Game 2, scoring on all three levels. He sank threes, he hit turnarounds, and he slashed his way to the cup. Brown hit 14 of his 27 shots overall and four of his 10 threes, and also added eight points at the charity stipe. He really took over in the second quarter, leading the Celtics on a massive run that flipped the game in Boston's favor. 

The Pacers held a two-point lead after the first quarter. But that didn't last as the Celtics went on a 20-0 run, which spanned from the final 31 seconds of the first quarter to nearly the midway point of the second quarter. Brown scored half of those points, as the run turned a 27-25 Pacers lead into a 42-27 edge for the Celtics. 

Boston went up by 16 at one point in the second quarter, led by 17 points from Brown. He scored more than half of Boston's 32 points in the frame.

But the pesky Pacers refused to go away. Despite that monster run by Boston, Indiana trailed by just six at halftime thanks to Pascal Siakam, who scored 10 straight for the Pacers to end the first half. After the Celtics went on their run, the Pacers closed the second quarter on a 22-12 run of their own, cutting the Boston lead to just 57-51 at the break.

Jayson Tatum had just four points at the half, but started to come alive in the third. He scored eight in the quarter, and with Brown scoring nine, the Celtics took a 93-80 lead into the fourth quarter.

Tatum started his fourth quarter with a nice driving layup for a three-point play, and a triple by Jrue Holiday put the Celtics on top 99-82 for their biggest lead at that point. A Brown jumper with 7:33 left put Boston on top by 18, and a Tatum three with under five minutes on the clock put the Celtics back up by 18.

Tatum shook off his rough start (he was just 2-for-8 in the first half) and finished with 23 points off 9-for-20 shooting to go with six rebounds and five assists. Holiday had 15 points off 6-for-7 shooting and 10 assists, while Derrick White added 23 points for Boston.

But no one had a bigger night than Brown, who capped off his evening with a three as the shot clock expired with just under two minutes to play. He heard MVP chants from the crowd throughout the night. 

The Pacers played the fourth quarter without Tyrese Haliburton, who left late in the third with left leg soreness after scoring 10 points and dishing out eight assists in his 28 minutes. ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported during the game that Haliburton was dealing with a hamstring issue, so his status going forward will be a massive storyline for the Pacers.

The series will now shift to Indiana, where the Pacers are a perfect 6-0 this postseason. The Celtics, however, are 4-0 on the road in the playoffs, so something's gotta give in Saturday night's Game 3. 

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