Anything can happen in the NBA In-Season Tournament, and the Indiana Pacers proved just that.
In what was the first of four quarterfinals matchups in the inaugural edition of the tournament, the Pacers defeated the Boston Celtics in comeback fashion, 122-112. The Pacers improved to 5-0 in IST play off the stellar performance from Tyrese Haliburton, who came back from a one-game absence to have his first career triple-double (26 points, 13 assists, 10 rebounds on 10-18 from the field and no turnovers).
The Jays for Boston each scored 30+, but a 37-23 third quarter allowed Indiana to walk away with the win.
Social media had jokes for the Celtics as first elimination of the IST
Given the nature of the tournament, there was always going to be jokes on NBA Twitter. Whether teams lost, took it too seriously or celebrated too hard, the NBA's latest experiment in making the regular season more interesting was always going to be at the center of memes. And the first result of the Knockout stage didn't disappoint in that regard.
With the Celtics being one of the favorites for the postseason trophy this season, social media took advantage of them losing in a win-or-go-home scenario to unleash their jokes:
The Pacers move on in the tournament and will play in Las Vegas on Thursday at 6:00 pm ET against the winner of the New York Knicks versus Milwaukee Bucks game on Tuesday night night. The winner of that game will play the winner of the West side of the bracket in the Championship game on Saturday at 9:30 pm ET.