Boston Celtics

NBA Playoffs 2019: Kyrie Irving 'looking forward to challenge' of Game 3 in Indiana

As the regular season came to a close and it became apparent that the Celtics would face the Pacers in the first round's 4-5 matchup, the only thing that was left to figure out was who would receive the home-court advantage.

Two late-season wins over Indiana swayed the advantage into Boston's favour and two games into their first-round series, it has made all the difference.

The Celtics have used the energy from the TD Garden crowd to get out to a 2-0 series lead, coming back from a 12-point deficit in the fourth quarter to win by eight points in Game 2.

TAKEAWAYS: Irving and Tatum lead C's to comeback win

As the series shifts to Indiana, Celtics All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving touched on the importance of doing the little things like "screen for each other, make sure we're very communicative on the defensive end and make sure we're there."

He continued, saying "that's what's going to get you to the next level but we've shown that. These guys on this team have shown that they can win at home, and we've shown it as well, but now it's about going on the road and doing the same thing and playing with an intensity that's needed to get a big-time win on the road."

Irving, of course, is referring to the team's performance last postseason while he was sidelined after undergoing a knee procedure.

In 2018, it was essentially day and night as the Celtics went 10-1 at TD Garden while going just 1-7 on the road; the team's lone road win came in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Sixers while its lone home loss came in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Cavs.

Now, Boston heads to Bankers Life Fieldhouse where Indiana posted a record of 29-12 in the regular season. According to Kyrie, Game 3 is "where the big test comes."

Irving added that "here we've got our families, we've got everybody here supporting us, rooting us on and now when we go to Indiana, it's the total opposite where it's just us in the trenches where we're out there and we've really gotta focus in. I'm looking forward to that challenge for us"

The 27-year-old knows a thing or two about winning on the road in the playoffs - in the 28 road postseason games he appeared in as a member of the Cavs, Cleveland went 19-9. Among those 19 wins was Game 7 of the NBA Finals, where Irving knocked down one of the biggest shots in NBA history.

While Irving was happy with the win, he emphasized that the Celtics upcoming challenge is "about showing who we are as a team on the road in the playoffs."

Boston will get its opportunity in Friday's Game 3.

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