JERMAINE O'NEAL
Produced well in 20 minutes off the bench in his second game back from an extended injury absence, scoring 12 points, making 3-of-6 shots and 6-of-8 free throws, adding three rebounds and a blocked shot.
Name Min. +/- Name Min. +/-
Marquis Daniels DNP --- David Harrison DNP ---
Travis Diener 25:08 -6 Troy Murphy 32:14 -18
Ike Diogu 2:34 +6 Jermaine O'Neal 20:12 -4
Mike Dunleavy 29:09 -17 Andre Owens DNP ---
Jeff Foster 24:28 -14 Kareem Rush 26:16 -2
Stephen Graham 3:49 +2 Jamaal Tinsley DNP ---
Danny Granger 37:00 -13 Shawne Williams 16:18 0
Flip Murray 22:52 -9
  • Points in the paint: Celtics 32, Pacers 28
  • Fast-break points: Pacers 15, Celtics 9
  • Second-chance points: Celtics 20, Pacers 14
  • Points off turnovers: Celtics 27, Pacers 15
  • Starters scoring: Celtics 61, Pacers 49
  • Bench scoring: Celtics 31, Pacers 28
  • By recording their 60th victory after winning 24 last season, the Celtics already have tied the biggest single-season turnaround in NBA history with seven games remaining.
    The Pacers open a home-and-home series with the Bucks beginning Friday in Milwaukee. (8:30 p.m., ESPN, FSN-Indiana, 1070 The Fan). The teams meet again Sunday in Conseco Fieldhouse.
  • Season plus-minus rankings
  • Recap | Box score
  • Boston 92, Indiana 77
    Pacers still can't solve Celtics' defense

    At Boston | April 2, 2008


    If there was a message sent, it didn't come from the Pacers. It came from the Celtics and went something like this: be careful what you wish for.

    Hoping to secure a victory to not only help their postseason chances but build confidence should they climb into the eighth spot and earn a first-round matchup with the Celtics, the Pacers didn't come close to accomplishing either goal, trailing wire-to-wire in a 92-77 loss Wednesday in TD Banknorth Garden.

    Riding an offensive hot streak entering the game, scoring at least 100 points in the previous nine games and averaging 113.8 in the previous six, the Pacers produced their second-lowest point total of the season, shot .356 from the field and were 6-of-29 (.207) from the 3-point line.

    In three losses to the Celtics this season, the otherwise high-scoring Pacers have averaged 86.7 points, .364 shooting overall and .269 from the arc.

    IMPACT
    It was a costly night for the Pacers (31-44), as Atlanta won its fifth in a row, defeated Toronto 127-100 in overtime, giving the Hawks (35-40) a four-game lead over 10th-place Indiana with just seven remaining. Essentially, the Pacers must now win out – including a matchup with Atlanta next week – and hope the Hawks collapse down the stretch. Boston (60-15) reached 60 victories for the first time in 22 years, won its fifth in a row and improved to 33-1 against teams with sub-.500 records.

    TURNING POINT
    Though the Celtics were playing the second night of a back-to-back set while the Pacers had the previous night off, Boston came out with much more energy and intensity, particularly on defense, and took the visitors out of the game in the first half. The Pacers missed their first eight shots on the way to a 5-of-20 first quarter, rallied briefly behind Jermaine O'Neal early in the second to close to 32-24, then went dry the rest of the half. The Pacers shot 9-of-36 (.250) in the half, including 1-of-12 from the 3-point line. They had more turnovers (11) then field goals.

    After taking a 49-30 lead into the break, the Celtics quickly made it a 26-point lead by scoring the first seven of the third period and the Pacers got no closer than 13 the rest of the way.

    HIGHLIGHTS
    O'Neal produced well in his second game back from a 33-game absence due to injury, scoring 12 points with three rebounds and a blocked shot in 20 minutes off the bench. Troy Murphy posted the fifth double-double (11 points, 10 rebounds) in his last eight appearances, while Jeff Foster had seven offensive rebounds and four steals.

    LOWLIGHTS
    Danny Granger and Mike Dunleavy have carried the offense much of the season but on this night neither was up to the challenge. Granger missed his first six shots and wound up 4-of-15, scoring 14. Dunleavy missed all five of his 3-pointers and wound up with just 12 points and a career-high eight turnovers. Flip Murray shot 3-of-12 and backup guards Kareem Rush and Travis Diener combined to shoot 2-of-12 overall and 0-of-9 from the arc. The Pacers had more turnovers (21) than assists (13) and were outrebounded by 10 (51-41).

    Kevin Garnett had 20 points, 11 rebounds and four assists for the Celtics, who didn't shoot well (.443 overall, .250 from the arc) but didn't need to thanks to their smothering defense. Ray Allen scored 15, Leon Powe 14 with nine rebounds off the bench and Paul Pierce 13.

    NOTEWORTHY
  • Boston's Eddie House was called for a Flagrant Foul for horse-collaring Granger from behind on a fast-break early in the second quarter.
  • Marquis Daniels missed the game with a sore toe.

    PACERS COACH JIM O'BRIEN
    “We didn’t make the shots that we had to in the first half. We dug ourselves to big of a hole to comeback against these guys. We didn’t put our best foot forward and we had an opportunity to make this a lot closer game than it was and we didn’t do it.”
    Re: How hard is it to comeback against a team like the Celtics: “It’s pretty difficult. They are an outstanding defensive team. They have great quickness and they take a lot of your offense away from you.”
    Re: Celtics defense: “I think they are the best defensive team in the league. I think they play the hardest of any team in the league. I don’t think there is that much dispute about that. That’s why they are contenders.”
    PACERS CENTER JEFF FOSTER
    Re surprised with so much on the line coming out with a flat performance: “Yeah, we didn’t come out to play and weren’t hitting our shots in the first half. I mean guys were just falling down and slipping, stuff I haven’t seen all year. I don’t really have an explanation for it. They showed why they are the best team in the NBA right now.”
    Re how much of tonight's struggle had to do with Celtics defense: “Their defense is really good and they have five guys out there at all time that are committed and on the same page. Anytime you have three super stars like that that are willing to defend like they do, it just makes the other two that are on the court with them step up their game and defend at the same level.”
    Re ever a sense of actually being in this game tonight: “I don’t know what happened there in the beginning, what those exact scores were, but we seemed to be out of it pretty quick. We thought we were come out in the second half and be more assertive but they got us down 26 real quick, at least we kept fighting. That’s one positive, we kept fighting, got it down to 16 and then down to 13 I think at one point. But we’re not looking for moral at this point in time. We are just trying to win some games. We have seven games left, we got to try to win all seven of them and hope Atlanta loses some.”