Source: CNN

Indiana Pacers head coach Rick Carlisle said the 133-128 overtime loss to the Boston Celtics in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Tuesday was “totally on me” after his team snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.

The Pacers had a three-point cushion and the ball with just 10 seconds left of regulation time, but Andrew Nembhard’s inbound pass to Pascal Siakam ended up in Indiana turning the ball over.

The costly mistake was punished by Jaylen Brown who leveled the scores at 117-117 with a three-pointer from the corner. The Celtics then got the better of overtime to take a series lead, leaving Carlisle to rue the missed opportunity.

“I love the way our guys fought in this game. This loss is totally on me. With 10 seconds of regulation, we should have just taken the timeout, advanced the ball and found a way to get it in,” Carlisle admitted to reporters after the game at Boston’s TD Garden.

“We made some other mistakes, but our guys just need to concentrate on fighting the way they fought in this game, from start to finish.”

Despite Carlisle taking responsibility for the chaotic end to regulation time, it was an error strewn night from the Pacers, who tallied 22 turnovers which led to 32 points for Boston, according to ESPN.

Carlisle, though, wanted to focus on the positives of which there were some. Boston, for example, had twice led by double digits in the game but Indiana came back on both occasions to take the lead.

The Pacers head coach was confident his team would recover in time for Game 2 on Thursday.

“We did a lot of good things that we need to continue to do and we’ve been a tough minded, resilient team for almost the entire second half of the year and we have to continue that,” he added.

For the Celtics, it was a morale boosting start to the series, with Brown and Jayson Tatum leading the charge.

Tatum finished on a game-high 36 points, coming up clutch in overtime after Brown had saved the day.

“Welcome to the NBA Playoffs,” Brown told reporters. “You’ve just got to manage your emotions of the game. Anything can happen. The game is not over until the final buzzer sounds.”

The Celtics were also boosted by a career-best performance from Jrue Holiday who totalled 28 points, seven rebounds, eight assists, and three steals.

“We’ve seen crazy stuff happen all the time,” Holiday told reporters.

“I don’t think that we think we’ve lost a game until we’ve actually lost a game. That’s part of the reason why we were so resilient toward the end of the game; anything can happen.”

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