Celtics Beat Pacers, Remain Undefeated
ORLANDO, Fla. – The Boston Celtics were the first team to advance their record to 3-0 in the Orlando Pro Summer League after defeating the Indiana Pacers 85-77 Wednesday afternoon at the Amway Center.
Jared Sullinger and E’Twaun Moore were two of Boston’s standout players yet again. Sullinger finished the contest with a team-high 16 points and also tied for the game high in rebounds with eight. Moore was one of the Celtics’ best scorers for the third straight day, finishing the contest with 15 points on 6-of-11 shooting.
The Celtics and Pacers were in a tight battle for the majority of the game but Boston used a strong fourth quarter to put the clamps on Indiana and grab the win. JaJuan Johnson led the fourth-quarter charge with seven points. Head coach Tyronn Lue pulled his starters from the floor with several minutes left on the clock and his team holding onto a double-digit lead.
Lue’s starting five of E’Twaun Moore, Dionte Christmas, Kris Joseph, Jared Sullinger and Sean Williams dominated the Pacers all afternoon. All five of those players finished with a plus/minus rating of at least plus-11. Joseph (plus-23) and Williams (plus-20) finished with the best plus/minus ratings of the game.
Once Boston pulled its starters, Indiana attempted to make a run against the Celtics’ reserves. However, the Pacers never cut the Celtics’ lead down to less than six points in the closing minutes. The C’s made five of their six free throw attempts in the final minutes to seal their third win in as many days.
The Celtics controlled this game from start to finish and led the Pacers for nearly the entire contest. They jumped out to an 18-15 lead at the end of the first quarter, with their only deficit in the frame being 2-0.
Indiana temporarily took a lead in the second quarter, at 21-18, but Boston responded quickly. E’Twaun Moore tied the game up at 21-21 with an and-one shot off the glass and then Jared Sullinger completed his own conventional three-point play moments later. Moore then hit a shot from downtown to complete a 9-4 run that put Boston ahead 27-25. The Celtics did not trail at any point in the remainder of the game.
Although this was only an eight-point victory for Boston, the Celtics dominated Indiana in several major statistical categories. The C’s outshot the Pacers by 11.3 percent, grabbed seven more rebounds and dished out seven more assists.
Sullinger and Moore led Boston’s offensive attack, but Joseph and Christmas shined again as well. Joseph finished the afternoon with 11 points, six rebounds, two assists and two steals. Meanwhile, Christmas accumulated eight points, four rebounds, four assists and two steals.
The lone bright spot for Indiana was Miles Plumlee, who has been lauded for the freakish athletic ability he displayed at the NBA Draft combined just weeks ago. He scored 16 points and grabbed seven rebounds for the Pacers. Plumlee also slammed home two thunderous dunks that left the gym buzzing at the Amway Center’s practice court.
Boston will look to continue its perfect week when it takes the court at 11 a.m. Thursday morning against the Detroit Pistons. The Pacers are scheduled to play the Jazz at 3 p.m.