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Summer League: Pacers 74, Celtics 76

by Scott Agness | @ScottAgness

July 9, 2013

ORLANDO – For how poorly they shot Tuesday afternoon, the Pacers still had an opportunity to win and that’s all you can ask for.

Trailing the Boston Celtics with 2:44 to play, the Pacers began a comeback. They used a 10-2 run to knot the game at 74 with 38.6 seconds to play. Kelly Olynyk missed a shot in the lane, which gave the Pacers a chance to take the lead but point guard Donald Sloan missed a runner in the lane. Celtics reserve Phil Pressey connected on two free throws, but the Pacers would have the final say.

Sloan had the ball in his hands, down two, with 10.8 seconds remaining. The play was busted, yet he still managed to get off a 3-pointer for the win. No good. The Celtics prevailed 76-74 on the practice floor at the Amway Center.

“We had a good look,” said Pacers Summer League head coach Dan Burke. “We didn’t execute it real well and we looked confused. It’s just something we didn’t have the guys in the exact spot we wanted but if you’re going to shoot 36 percent, turn the ball over 16 times, and miss [seven] free throws, you’re not going to win many games.

Photo Gallery: Pacers 74, Celtics 76 »

“I was proud of our guys. The second and third quarter was a struggle – just a struggle. … I thought we battled back. We found another gear. We didn’t give into any fatigue. We didn’t use that as an excuse and we had a chance to win the game. Have a chance, that’s what you want.”

In the final minutes of the third quarter, with the Pacers behind by double digits, Solomon Hill scored on consecutive possessions. Then, Micah Downs and Rasual Butler knocked down back-to-back shots from behind the arc. An 8-1 spurt trimmed the Celtics lead to six entering the fourth quarter. 34-year-old Rasual Butler, who finished with seven points off the pine, got in a groove and hit two straight jumpers to open the fourth quarter.

“He just has savvy and knowhow,” Burke said of Butler. “He keeps the guys calm and he’s talking to him. … Everyone starts feeding off of it. He just has this quiet confidence of a vet and the only other guy I see with that same confidence is Solomon Hill.”

Hill paced Indiana with 15 points. Second-year guard Orlando Johnson struggled with his shot, going 4-of-10 from the field, but he finished with 13 points and six rebounds in a losing effort.

“I’m trying to work on things the coaches want to see us work on like decision making, and play-making ability,” Johnson said of Orlando experience. “My shots not falling right now but they like my aggression. I’m getting to the basket and getting to the free throw line. There’s some positives out there but there’s still some things I need to work on and get better at.”

Olynyk scored a game-high 21 points, pulled down nine rebounds and dished out four assists. Tony Mitchell added 15. The Pacers missed all 10 of their 3-point attempts in the first half and finished the game 5-of-23 (21.7 percent).

The Pacers have Wednesday off and will then face Utah at 11 a.m. on Thursday.

Notes

  • Dan Burke received a technical foul.
  • The Pacers continued to use the same starting lineup: Donald Sloan, Orlando Johnson, Solomon Hill, Justin Harper and Miles Plumlee.
  • Indiana native Julian Mavunga (sprained left ankle) said he’s feeling better but doesn’t plan to play this week.
  • Danny Granger is slated to fly into Orlando later today to be around the team.

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