Rewind: Pacers vs. Celtics 120114
Saturday, Jan. 14, 2012 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse
Game Rewind: Pacers 97, Celtics 83
By Conrad Brunner
Heading into their second matchup with Boston in nine days, Frank Vogel called this "a barometer game" for his Pacers.
"We know we have the talent. We know we have the depth," he said. "We've got to find out if we have the killer instinct yet."
Without question, the barometer is rising.
Danny Granger scored 21, Paul George and Darren Collison added 17 apiece and the defense dominated once again as the Pacers routed Boston once more, 97-83, Saturday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
In winning their third in a row, the Pacers (9-3) remained unbeaten in five home games. Boston (4-7) lost its fourt in a row and is now 0-6 against teams with winning records.
BY THE NUMBERS
Roy Hibbert fell one rebound short of another double-double with 11 points and nine boards as the Pacers won easily despite shooting below 40 percent (.372). But they held the Celtics to 38.6 percent shooting and forced 18 turnovers. Boston was led by Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett with 21 apiece.
"Real excited about the win. We’ve been stressing to push the tempo more than we did early in the season. We just push the tempo, push the tempo and wear them down and put someone fresh in. This is how we want to play every night, take advantage of our depth." - Vogel
"We want to push the envelope and see how good we can become. We want to achieve our potential. We have a number of guys on our team whose numbers could be better. But they are sacrificing those numbers for the betterment of the team." - Vogel
"This was huge, very huge with back to back wins from quality teams, good teams. We knocked them back on their heels and we never let them back in the game when we took control. We knew they would be wanting us for the win that we got in Boston." - Granger
"We have guards that we can throw at you all the time, back up guards, good guards. Keeps the pressure on them and keeps our ball movement going." - Collison
"I thought we played tired out there in the second half. They (the Pacers) just kept pushing the pace on makes and misses and took advantage of their team speed in the second half. They’re well coached and they’ve been together and had some success. They had a good chemistry going. I think they’re playing off the confidence from how they ended last year." - Pierce
STAT OF THE GAME
In two victories over the Celtics, the Pacers -- who lead the league in second-chance points at 17.5 per game -- have outscored Boston 43-14 on second-chance points and 84-52 on points in the paint, including 23-9 and 42-24 respectively Saturday night. Boston has been outscored 83-28 on second-chance points in its four-game losing streak.
Though both teams were noted for slow starts coming in, neither did this time as the Pacers rode Paul George to an early 19-16 lead. Boston had its best run of the first half, scoring eight in a row, to take a 24-19 lead late in the period.
The Pacers then applied the defensive clamps in a 17-2 run that built a 36-26 lead early in the second quarter. The lead grew to 45-32 midway through the period but Garnett started dropping in some jumpers and the Celtics chipped it to 56-48 at the half.
Collison heated up in the third quarter, scoring 11 points and combining with Granger for all of the points in a 9-0 run that pushed the lead to 78-60. Though Pierce scored eight in the quarter, the Celtics trailed 82-67 heading into the fourth.
Indiana couldn't buy a bucket in the early minutes of the final quarter, missing 13 of its first 15 shots. And yet the lead didn't shrink -- in fact at actually grew to 87-71 as the Celtics were similarly stymied by the Pacers' defense.
George had a tip and then a soaring dunk that put the Pacers up 91-73 with 4:26 remaining, quelling any thoughts Boston had about a comeback.
In addition to being 5-0 at home, the Pacers are 8-0 when scoring at least 90, 6-0 when holding opponents below 90, 7-0 when winning the board and 7-0 when winning points in the paint. … Vogel said he did not have a sit-down with Granger to discuss his captain's ejection in the first half Friday in Toronto. "I just told him it was not the brightest thing, he agreed," Vogel said before the game. "He's a smart guy, he just made a dumb play. It happens sometimes." … Jermaine O'Neal returned to the starting lineup against his former team, though Boston Coach Doc Rivers said Brandon Bass would start most of the games at center. … The Celtics were without reserve forward Chris Wilcox (strained left calf), who Rivers said would miss "three or four games, for sure." … Purdue Coach Matt Painter was at the game to see former Boilermakers JaJuan Johnson and E'Twaun Moore. Both of the Boston rookie second-round picks played well as Moore set a career-high with seven points, while Johnson tied his career-best with four points. . … Former Pacer Derrick McKey had a front-row seat.
After their longest break of the season other than the All-Star break, a three-day span without a game, the Pacers head out for a three-game Western Conference road trip that begins Wednesday in Sacramento against Jimmer Fredette, Tyreke Evans, DeMarcus Cousins and the Kings. Fredette, the highly touted rookie from Brigham Young, has struggled with his shot thus far but Evans (18.8 points) and Cousins (14.5 points, 10.4 rebounds) have been productive.