Notebook: Celtics 83, Pacers 81



Posted Mar 6, 2013 10:59 PM

Conrad Brunner, for NBA.com

THE FACTS: Left for dead two months ago, the Boston Celtics have come fully to life. Jeff Green's lay-in on a high-low feed from Kevin Garnett with five-tenths of a second remaining completed an 11-0 run in the final 4:15 that rallied the Celtics to an 83-81 victory over the stunned Indiana Pacers Wednesday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Indiana led 81-72 with 4:36 remaining but shot 0-for-7 with four turnovers the rest of the way. Garnett scored 18 to lead the Celtics (33-27), who won their fourth in a row and improved to 13-4 since Rajon Rondo was lost for the season with a knee injury. Paul Pierce and Avery Bradley had 13 apiece. Paul George scored 16 and George Hill had14 to lead Indiana (38-23), which shot 4-for-20 in the fourth quarter.

QUOTABLE: "Indiana was great and pushed us around the floor in the first half. I thought we responded well in the second half. We just hang around. That's what we've been doing around, just hanging around and we stole the game."
-- Boston Coach Doc Rivers

THE STAT: In winning their last four games against the Pacers, the Celtics have limited Indiana to averages of 78.8 points, .346 shooting overall and .188 from the 3-point line.

TURNING POINT: Indiana took a 10-point lead, 68-58, into the fourth quarter but missed its first nine shots as the Celtics put together an 11-2 run to cut it to 70-69. Hill scored eight straight points and George added a 3-pointer as Indiana pushed its lead back to nine points and it appeared Indiana was back in charge. But the Celtics chipped away, cutting it to 81-79 on a Pierce 3-pointer with 2:33 left and tying it on Bradley's layup with 1:21 remaining. The Pacers had two chances to re-take the lead but came up empty on both possessions, with Roy Hibbert missing an unwanted jumper late in the shot flock with 23.2 seconds remaining. Playing for the last shot, the Celtics ran a give-and-go with Green feeding Garnett in the key, then curling off a Pierce back-screen to spring open under the bucket. Indiana was unable to get a shot off on its final possession as Pierce fronted George, preventing him from getting off the ground after the lob toward the rim.

QUOTABLE II: "We are finding ways to win. We are just trusting each other now, everybody is buying in."
-- Green

HOT: Garnett shot 7-for-10 including his first 3-pointer of the season (in 12 attempts), adding 10 rebounds, two blocks and two assists. He was the only starter on either team to make at least half his attempts.

NOT: Of the 10 Pacers that played, nine failed to make have their shots. The starters combined to go 27-for-71 (.380), including 5-for-19 (.263) from the arc and the bench was even worse, combining for 5-for-17 (.294) overall and 1-for-8 (.125) from long range.

QUOTABLE III: "We just didn't take care of the ball. We really should have pounded them on the inside. They forced us to shoot a lot of jump shots in the closing minutes. At that point, we just got real stagnant, offensively."
-- George

NOTABLE: Indiana played without Danny Granger, whose comeback from a left knee injury has been temporarily cut short due to lingering pain. Though MRI results were negative, Granger will sit for a week before being re-evaluated. ... Boston enjoyed a 29-16 advantage in bench scoring with Green (11) and Jason Terry (10) reaching double figures. ... Indiana scored 42 points in the paint in the first three periods but was outscored 14-2 in the fourth. ... Pacers center Roy Hibbert scored 12 in the first quarter, none thereafter, attempting just four more shots, but did finish with 12 rebounds for a double-double. ... West had a double-double with 11 points and 16 rebounds. ... Indiana fell to 3-8 in games decided by three points or less.

UP NEXT: For the Pacers, Friday at Orlando, Sunday at Miami, Wednesday vs. Minnesota. For the Celtics, Friday vs. Atlanta, Sunday at Oklahoma City, Tuesday at Charlotte.