GAME REWIND: CELTICS 99, PACERS 88
|PHOTO GALLERY||BOX SCORE||PLUS-MINUS||CHAT REPLAY||FAN FORUM|
PACERS COACH JIM O'BRIEN
Re: Not being able to get a big run. “The Celtics had something to do with that. They’re a heck of a basketball team and they’re stingy in the fourth quarter. We didn’t stop them enough times to give us our chance to make a run.”
Re: His influence on Paul Pierce’s success. “That’s all on Paul. Paul discovered a long time ago the kind of player he wants to be. He wanted to be one of the best in the world and he is. Nothing he does surprises me.”
PACERS FORWARD DANNY GRANGER
Re do you have to play a perfect game to beat the Celtics: “They’re so tied in together offensively and defensively you almost do.. They can be beat but you have to play a near perfect game. We missed a lot of shots but we missed a lot of shots because they were in our face for most of those shots. They’re a good defensive team.”
Re: comparing the Celtics with the Lakers and Heat: “I think the Celtics are more talented than those other teams across the board. They’ve probably have 40 years of all-star games between. They’re more talented than those teams. They’re more tied in defensively. Even offinsively they really know how to play with each other. So I think that’s the best team right now
PACERS GUARD MIKE DUNLEAVY
Re the technical foul called on him: “I got fouled right in front of the ref. He heard it, he saw it. He didn’t call it. So you’ve got to let him know that he made a mistake when they make a mistake.”
QUOTABLE: "We're putting him in Rondo's spot, and making him the facilitator With this team, especially with the injuries we have, he's been a great utility guy. -- Celtics Head coach Doc Rivers on Pierce
THE STAT: The Celtics played stifling defense during the second half, limiting the Pacers to just 30 percent shooting, including just 1-of-11 from three-point range.
TURNING POINT: Indiana kept the game tight for the majority of the second half, but Pierce once again took charge in the fourth quarter, scoring six of Boston's ten points during a 10-2 run. The outburst pushed the Celtics lead to nine with 7:33 remaining in the final frame. The Pacers got no closer than six the rest of the way.
QUOTABLE II: "They're a heck of a basketball team and they're stingy in the fourth quarter. We didn't stop them enough times to give us our chance to make a run." --Indiana head coach Jim O'Brien
HOT: A rejuvenated Shaquille O'Neal came firing out of the gate after a four-game layoff, scoring 11 of Boston's first 17 points, including a thunderous alley-oop dunk over Pacers forward Jeff Foster.
NOT: Granger struggled with his shot all afternoon, hitting just 25 percent of his 20 attempts. He also missed six of his seven tries from downtown.
FANTASY SPOTLIGHT: Pierce made his presence felt all over the floor, filling up the box score in nearly every category Sunday afternoon. The C's captain finished with 18 points, 10 rebounds, and 12 assists, to go along with four steals and a block on the defensive end.
GOOD MOVE: Pierce once again ran the half-court offense in place of injured point guard Rajon Rondo after halftime. Playing as point forward, Pierce distributed the ball extremely well, which enabled Boston's offense explode for 30 points in the fourth and pull away for the win.
BAD MOVE: Rivers attempted to rest all of his starters at the start of the second quarter and go with a five-man bench unit. The decision backfired almost immediately, as the Pacers ran off a 6-0 run, forcing Rivers to reinsert Allen into the lineup with 10:30 remaining in the frame.
ROOKIE WATCH: Celtics rookie Semih Erden battled through a groin pull to give the C's much-needed minutes off the bench at the center spot. The injury cleared limited Erden's production however, as he grabbed just one rebound in seven minutes of action.
NOTABLE: Pierce and Indiana guard Dahntay Jones got into a yelling match and were handed double technicals at 5:41 mark of 2nd quarter. Indiana scored 19 second chance points off their 16 offensive rebounds. The Celtics had 23 fast break points.
UP NEXT: For the Pacers, Monday vs. New Orleans, Sunday vs. Memphis, Tuesday vs. Boston. For the Celtics, Wednesday vs. Philadelphia, Saturday @ Orlando, Tuesday @ Indiana. PacersCeltics