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NBA: Romeo returns to Indiana

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Romeo Langford, seen here during the Boston Celtics’ game against the Indiana Pacers at then-Bankers Life Fieldhouse in 2020, recorded a 3-pointer and a steal in 3 minutes off the bench in Boston’s 119-100 win at now-Gainbridge Fieldhouse on Wednesday night.

INDIANAPOLIS — Romeo Langford was back home again in Indiana on Wednesday night.

And this time around, he scored in the game.

The former New Albany High School star and Indiana University standout, who is in his third year with the Boston Celtics, came off the bench to hit a 3-pointer and record a steal in Boston’s 119-100 win over Indiana at Gainbridge Fieldhouse.

The 6-foot-5, 216-pound shooting guard hadn’t played in two of the Celtics’ past three games, but he saw action in the waning minutes of Boston’s big win. He checked in with 3 minutes and 6 seconds left in the game and the Celtics leading 111-91.

Eighteen seconds after entering the game, Langford drilled a 25-foot 3 off a feed from Brodic Thomas.

It was Langford’s first made shot as a professional in the building in which he led the Bulldogs to the Class 4A state championship in 2016. In his only other game action on the Pacers’ homecourt, he missed all four of his shots, including a 3-pointer, in Boston’s 114-111 win at Indiana on March 10, 2020 — one day before the NBA suspended its season due to COVID-19.

Eleven seconds after coming into Wednesday night’s game, Langford was whistled for a loose ball foul.

Then, with 37 seconds to play, Langford recorded a steal.

Romeo Langford head shot 3rd year

Romeo Langford

Prior to that, Jaylen Brown (34) and Jayson Tatum (33) combined for 67 points to lead the Celtics to their third straight win, and their second over the Pacers in three days. Boston beat Indiana 101-98 in overtime Monday night at TD Garden.

Dennis Schroder added 23 points for the Celtics, who snapped a six-game road losing streak with their fourth consecutive victory over the Pacers.

“When we can do that — get out and run and not play against everyone’s half-court set, we’re better,” Celtics coach Ime Udoka said. “Those two came out great and Dennis got going and put a lot of pressure on them. They’ve got to make shots and at the end of the day, they did that.”

With Brown, Tatum and Schroder operating at full throttle, the Pacers struggled to get in synch as two starters — Malcolm Brogdon and Caris LeVert — returned after being cleared through the health and safety protocols.

Neither played like themselves, though.

That left it up to Myles Turner, who had 18 points and Domantas Sabonis added 17 points, six rebounds and six assists as the Pacers lost their second straight and eighth in nine games.

“Look it’s never seamless and in this case, you’re talking about two of our highly, highly skilled guys who have been out a significant amount of time,” Pacers coach Rick Carlisle said. “Tomorrow will be a new day and we’ll circle the wagons and try and get better.”

After the opening minutes, the Celtics never really gave the Pacers a chance.

Boston quickly took a 10-point lead and kept Indiana at arm’s length until the final minutes of the first half, then wasted no time reasserting its dominance in the third quarter. The Celtics scored the first eight points to extend a 54-49 halftime lead to 13 and then made it 68-53 when Schroder made back-to-back 3-pointers.

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Romeo Langford hit a 3-pointer with 2 minutes, 48 seconds to play in the Boston Celtics’ 119-100 win at Indiana on Wednesday night. So far this season, Langford is averaging 4.9 points, three rebounds and 18.3 minutes per game while shooting 42.7 percent from the field, including 33.9 percent from 3-point range, and 65.2 percent from the free throw line. {span} {/span}

Another 3 from Schroder late in the third made it a 19-point game. Indiana never seriously challenged again.

“We were up five at halftime and felt like we gave up a double-digit lead so we wanted to do what we did in the first and second quarter,” Udoka said. “ We made two baskets, they called timeout and we felt the momentum was back in our hands.”

TIP-INS

Celtics: Tatum also had seven rebounds and four assists while Brown added five rebounds and three assists. ... Schroder was 4 for 5 on 3s while Brown was 7 for 11. ... Boston made seven of its first eight 3s and wound up 18 of 38 from beyond the arc. ... The Celtics had 11 turnovers. ... Marcus Smart missed the game with a bruised right thigh. Payton Pritchard played limited minutes after being cleared through the health and safety protocols.

Pacers: LeVert had 16 points and four assists in 29 minutes. Justin Holiday scored 13. ... ... One day after signing a second 10-day contract, Lance Stephenson had six points, five rebounds and six assists ... The Pacers were 7 for 36 on 3s and went 13 for 20 on free throws.

EARLY EXIT

Brogdon had also been dealing with a sore right Achilles tendon. The injury, combined with the COVID-19 protocols, kept the Pacers starting guard out of nine straight games and 10 of the previous 11. On Wednesday, he left in the third quarter after scoring six points on 3-for-7 shooting in just 17 minutes.

“We were playing him about five minutes at the start of each quarter with the hope of him finishing the game,” Carlisle said. “But five minutes, you’re just getting into the game and you’re coming out. That’s tough. Hopefully, he did OK and didn’t have any setbacks but I need to talk to the trainers.”

UP NEXT

Celtics: At Philadelphia at 7 p.m. Friday night before hosting Chicago at 8:30 p.m. Saturday and New Orleans at 12:30 p.m. Monday afternoon.

Pacers: Host Phoenix on Friday night.

CELTICS 119, PACERS 100

BOSTON (21-21): Horford 4-8 0-0 8, Tatum 11-19 7-8 33, Williams III 2-3 1-2 5, Brown 11-19 5-5 34, Schroder 7-11 5-6 23, Nesmith 0-0 0-0 0, Williams 1-2 1-2 3, Fernando 0-0 2-2 2, Freedom 0-0 0-0 0, Langford 1-1 0-0 3, Pritchard 1-5 0-0 3, Richardson 2-7 0-0 5, Thomas 0-3 0-0 0. Totals 40-78 21-25 119.

INDIANA (15-27): Holiday 5-11 0-0 13, Turner 8-14 2-2 18, Sabonis 7-11 3-5 17, Brogdon 3-7 0-0 6, LeVert 6-9 3-5 16, Craig 0-4 0-0 0, Jackson 1-1 1-2 3, Stephenson 3-11 0-0 6, Bitadze 1-2 2-2 4, Lamb 1-3 0-0 3, Brissett 3-7 1-2 8, Sykes 1-1 0-0 2, Taylor 0-0 0-0 0, Washington Jr. 1-5 1-2 4. Totals 40-86 13-20 100.

Boston 35 19 33 32 — 119

Indiana 25 24 22 29 — 100

3-Point Goals_Boston 18-38 (Brown 7-11, Schroder 4-5, Tatum 4-9, Pritchard 1-2, Richardson 1-4, Thomas 0-2, Horford 0-3), Indiana 7-36 (Holiday 3-9, LeVert 1-2, Lamb 1-3, Washington Jr. 1-3, Brissett 1-4, Sabonis 0-2, Craig 0-3, Stephenson 0-4, Turner 0-5). Fouled Out_None. Rebounds_Boston 37 (Williams III 9), Indiana 37 (Brissett 9). Assists_Boston 23 (Horford, Richardson, Tatum 4), Indiana 27 (Sabonis, Stephenson 6). Total Fouls_Boston 22, Indiana 24. A_13,560 (20,000).

— The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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