Ford Keys to the Game: Pacers 87, Celtics 74

Ford Keys to the Game

Pacers 87, Celtics 74

Game Highlights

Photo of the Game

Paul Pierce

Paul Pierce watches the ball go out of bounds, but it looks more like he's asking the ball why it won't go through the hoop for him during a 3-for-17 shooting night.
Elsa/NBAE/Getty

Key Moment

What is the Key Moment of a game the Celtics never really looked like they could win? Probably the tip-off.

Boston came out and laid an egg tonight against the Indiana Pacers and tied a franchise low for points in a half by scoring just 25 over the first two quarters. The last time the Celtics were limited to 25 points in a half was on March 18, 1999, in Milwaukee.

The Pacers weren’t exactly hot from the field themselves in the first half, but there was no matching Boston’s inability to put the ball through the basket. The C’s shot just 26.5 percent (9-of-34) from the floor, highlighted by Paul Pierce’s 1-of-9 showing in the half.

Things didn’t get much better in the second half, either. Yes, Boston put up 30 points in the third quarter, but they gave up 30 as well. Every time it seemed as if the Celtics had an opportunity to crawl back into the game, some sort of 50-50 play wound up going Indiana’s way.

Somehow, despite all of that, the Celtics managed to climb within six points after Ray Allen made a layup 23 seconds into the final quarter to bring the score to 63-57. That was when hope was at its highest point for Boston, but George Hill quickly stole it all away.

Hill scored eight points, including two huge 3-pointers, in less than two and a half minutes to put Indiana ahead 73-60 with 8:40 remaining in the game. The Celtics never quit, with Doc Rivers calling timeouts into the final minute of the game despite a double-digit deficit, but they were not winning this one.

When the ball went up at half court tonight, the basketball gods did not have a Boston Celtics win on their mind. Hill made sure everyone in the arena understood that with his hot streak in the fourth that put the game away for good.

Key Box Score Line

If Ray Allen played with a cold for his entire career, he probably would have already broken every single shooting record known to mankind. You have to assume that after his last two performances.

Allen began to come down with a cold on Monday but he ignored the symptoms and showed up the Washington Wizards with 27 points on a scorching 9-of-16 shooting night from the field. He made six of his seven 3-pointers in that game and looked like a superhuman shooting machine.

Things only got worse with Allen’s cold over the next few days, as he missed Wednesday’s game and Thursday’s practice. He returned to action tonight, but fear not: the cold was still there.

With a congested chest and runny nose following him everywhere he went, Allen lit up the scoreboard yet again by dropping a game-high 23 points on the Indiana Pacers tonight. The shooting touch was even better than it was on Monday, if that’s possible. He made seven of his 11 field goals, including a 5-of-6 showing from downtown. Allen also chipped in a solid 5-for-6 night from the charity stripe.

Boston’s opponents better hope that Allen gets better soon, because right now all he’s doing is lighting up every net that’s placed in front of him

Box Score Nuggets

  • Neither team shot better than 40.5 percent from the floor.
  • The Celtics tied a franchise record by scoring just 25 points in the first half.
  • Indiana outrebounded Boston by a count of 47-36.
  • Ray Allen scored a game-high 23 points.
  • George Hill (13 points) and Tyler Hansbrough (12 points) each nearly outscored Boston's bench (14 points) individually.
  • David West scored only two points for Indiana but grabbed 10 rebonds.
  • Roy Hibbert notched the game's only double-double with 11 points and 12 boards.
  • Paul Pierce schot just 3-of-17 from the field.
  • Despite his team shooting just 39.4 percent, Rajon Rondo racked up a game-high nine assists.
  • Pierce committed a game-high five turnovers.
  • Allen made four of Boston's five 3-pointers.
  • Six Pacers scored between 11 and 15 points.
  • Boston did not outscore Indiana in any of the four quarters.
  • There were only two lead changes in the game.
  • Indiana shot 8-of-14 from 3-point range
  • The Celtics were outscored 42-28 in the paint and 19-5 in second-chance points.
  • The Pacers did not attempt a single fast break field goal, finishing with zero points on the break.

Quote of the Night

Indiana head coach Frank Vogel on the intensity of tonight's game: "We have confidence that we can beat any team in any building and this was a game that we knew to win here, we’d have to make it like an Eastern Conference playoff-type battle."