The Pacers had a two-point lead with just over 50 seconds left. Then, one of the worst minutes in NBA betting history unfolded for Indy backers.
The Pacers unravelled in their first-round playoff loss to the Celtics on Wednesday, to the devestation of bettors who had them covering the spread in Game 2.
Indiana closed as a 7.5-point underdog. Entering the fourth quarter, the Pacers held a 79–68 lead. All seemed fine. But with 5:26 remaining, Boston guard Kyrie Irving knocked down a 25-foot three-pointer to give the Celtics an 84–82 lead.
The Pacers would take a 91–89 lead with just over two minutes left and that score held with under a minute remaining, but Indy fumbled it away, quite literally, down the stretch.
Jayson Tatum knocked down the go-ahead three with 50 seconds left, and a Gordon Hayward layup with 12 seconds to go gave Boston a 94-91 lead.
Then the Pacers committed a turnover and fouled Tatum on a dunk with 8.8 seconds remaining. Tatum converted the three-point play to make it 97-91.
After another Indiana turnover to give the Celtics back the ball with 5.7 left, Pacers guard Tyreke Evans fouled Gordon Hayward with 3.6 showing left to send him to the free-throw line. Fouling down six with under five seconds left is truly a heartbreaker for any sports bettor.
Tha trip proved significant. Hayward went to the line and sank two free throws to give Boston an eight-point lead, giving the Celtics the cover. It took less than a minute of game time for Pacers bettors to go from comfortable to devastated.