DANNY GRANGER
Brought life to both ends of the floor off the bench, scoring 16 points with eight rebounds and two blocked shots.
RICK CARLISLE
"Obviously, tonight was a struggle early….our defense was not there, they shot 71percent in the first quarter, but we got it together. The guys made a commitment at halftime that we were going to do whatever was possible to get this game, get this monkey off our backs and I’m proud of the way they responded.”
Points in the Paint:
Celtics 42, Pacers 30
Fast-break points:
Celtics 14, Pacers 9
2nd-chance points:
Pacers 18, Celtics 14
Points off turnovers:
Pacers 20, Celtics 18
Starters scoring:
Pacers 66, Celtics 60
Bench scoring:
Pacers 31, Celtics 24
After Boston racked up 52 points on 19-of-31 shooting (.613) in the first half, the Celtics were lmited to 32 points on 10-of-39 shooting (.256) in the second.
Dirk Nowitzki and the hottest team in the NBA, the Dallas Mavericks, make their only visit to Conseco Fieldhouse Friday (7 p.m., FSN-Indiana).
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  • INDIANA 97, BOSTON 84
    Pacers (Finally) On A Streak

    At Boston | Jan. 10, 2007


    It didn't exactly go according to script but, then, little has for the Pacers this season. Against a struggling Boston team that began the night without three starters, including its top two scorers, and then lost two more key players to knee injuries during the game, Indiana watched an 18-point fourth-quarter lead cut to four but Danny Granger sparked a game-clinching 13-point run as the visitors pulled away for a 97-84 victory Wednesday in TD Banknorth Garden.

    Granger's 3-pointer with 4:09 remaining ended an 0-of-8 shooting drought that spanned more than 7 minutes. It also deflated the Celtics, who finally were overwhelmed by their circumstances down the stretch.

    The Pacers (20-16) finally succeeded on their eighth attempt at a three-game winning streak and moved four games above .500 for the first time this season, also winning their fifth road game in the last six to improve to 10-11 on the road.

    Boston (12-22) dropped to 2-8 without injured superstar Paul Pierce and lost its fourth in a row at home, where the Celtics' 4-12 mark is the NBA's worst.


    PLUSES

    After a poor first half, the defense gathered itself and controlled the game in the second while the offense got timely contributions from a variety of sources. Jermaine O'Neal had 23 points, 15 rebounds, three assists and three blocked shots. Jamaal Tinsley had his second double-double of the season with 17 points and 13 assists. Stephen Jackson scored 15. Off the bench, Granger scored 16 points with eight rebounds and Sarunas Jasikevicius had 15 points on 6-of-9 shooting.
    MINUSES
    The way the game began, it appeared the Celtics were in for an extended layup drill as the perimeter defense was shredded by Boston's quick young guards, particularly Tony Allen, who scored 12 of his 19 in the first quarter. Sebastian Telfair (15 points, seven assists, five rebounds) and Gerald Green (14 points) also were tough covers but Boston got very little from its frontcourt players.
    MOMENTS
    Boston led most of the half by as many as eight (32-24 early in the second quarter) but Tinsley sparked an eight-point run late in the half that wiped out the Celtics' advantage and the teams went in to the break tied at 52-all. Boston scored six in a row to take a 60-57 lead early in the third but Al Harrington's only basket of the night, a 3-pointer, was followed by a Tinsley 3-pointer and the Pacers were off and running on a 27-6 run that should've decided the game. Six players contributed to the run, which was fueled in large part by 11 free throws.

    During the run the Celtics lost their primary offensive weapon as Allen crumpled to the floor after missing an after-the-whistle dunk with an apparent left knee injury. In Pierce's absence, Allen had scored at least 20 points in six straight games and needed just one more point to make it seven before the injury.

    Consecutive baskets by O'Neal to start the fourth quarter pushed the Pacers' lead to 84-66 with 11:12 remaining. Rather than finishing the deal, the Pacers got sloppy at both ends, missing eight shots in a row while committing a flurry of fouls that led to a free-throw parade for the Celtics, who made eight in their 14-0 burst that cut the lead to 84-80 with 4:27 remaining.

    But with the Garden crowd rocking, Granger calmly drained his 3-pointer, O'Neal converted a three-point play and Granger finished a fast-break with a dunk. O'Neal hit an elbow jumper and Tinsley finished the clinching run with a 3-pointer that made it 97-80 with 1:32 left.


    TIDBITS
  • The Pacers improved to 4-7 on the second night of back-to-back games. They're 8-3 on the first night.
  • In addition to Pierce (foot), the Celtics started without forward Wally Szczerbiak (sore ankles) and point guard Delonte West (lower back). Both Pierce and Szczerbiak are expected to miss at least another week.
  • Reserve forward Brian Scalabrine was felled by a right knee injury in the first half that landed him in the hospital for an MRI and he was joined in the radiology department not long thereafter by Allen.
  • The Pacers have limited four of their last eight opponents to 84 points or fewer.