C's Come Out Hot but Fall to Pacers
ORLANDO – Day 2 of summer league got off to a great start for the Boston Celtics. Unfortunately, that great start didn’t last very long.
Boston came out of the gates humming at both ends of the court and pulled ahead by 18 points during the opening frame. The remainder of the contest featured a complete role reversal, as Indiana led by as many as 26 points and cruised to a 96-77 victory.
The Pacers caught fire during the second quarter while outscoring the Celtics 34-11. Their offensive outburst was keyed by the free-throw line. Indiana attempted 18 freebies during the second period alone after getting to the line for only two attempts during the opening frame.
Willie Reed was Indiana’s star during the second-quarter turnaround. He outscored the Celtics all by himself, as he dropped in 12 points to Boston’s 11.
Reed’s excellent play was infectious for Indiana. The rest of the team rallied around him and played fantastic basketball as well. Five Pacers scored during an 18-1 run to close the second quarter, leaving them with a 48-41 advantage at the break.
The third quarter was more of the same for each team. Boston continued to struggle at both ends of the court, while Indiana continued to pull away.
The Pacers put together another 30-point quarter to open up the second half. They poured in 31 points while the Celtics scored just 16. At one point during the third period, Indiana had strung together a 39-6 run that built the first 20-point lead of the game.
Boston just couldn’t get anything to fall during the lengthy run. It seemed as if every ball that touched the rim rolled around and popped out. Indiana also blocked several shots during the run, both around the basket and on the perimeter.
The C’s got some offense going in the fourth quarter, but it was too little too late. They never sliced Indiana’s lead to fewer than 15 points during the final quarter.
After a dominant first quarter, Boston’s play fell of dramatically for the remainder of the afternoon. The C’s just couldn’t keep up with the Pacers from the second quarter on. Boston shot only 34.3 percent from the field and sent the Pacers to the line for a whopping 45 free throw attempts. Indiana, meanwhile, shot 48.4 percent from the field and dominated the paint.
Each team had five players finish in double-figures. Kelly Olynyk led the Celtics with 15 points while Reed scored a game-high 18 for Indiana. Boston also received 13 points from Phil Pressey and 11 points from Marcus Smart.
Monday’s loss dropped the Celtics to 1-1 on the week. They are scheduled to have Tuesday completely off before returning to the court for a 7 p.m. matchup with the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday.