BRANDON RUSH
Gifted rookie had his third consecutive double-figures scoring game with 17, making 7-of-15 shots, including 3-of-7 from the 3-point line, adding three rebounds in 31 minutes off the bench.
Name Min. +/- Name Min. +/-
Maceo Baston DNP --- Marquis Daniels 38:25 +8
Travis Diener 12:29 +4 Mike Dunleavy DNP ---
T.J. Ford 35:31 -9 Jeff Foster 32:52 +11
Stephen Graham DNP --- Danny Granger DNP ---
Roy Hibbert 13:10 -12 Jarrett Jack 27:02 -24
Josh McRoberts DNP --- Troy Murphy 36:24 -3
Rasho Nesterovic 13:00 -5 Brandon Rush 31:08 +5
  • Points in the paint: Celtics 34, Pacers 32
  • Fast-break points: Pacers 6, Celtics 4
  • Second-chance points: Pacers 15, Celtics 7
  • Points off turnovers: Pacers 16, Celtics 16
  • Starters scoring: Celtics 73, Pacers 66
  • Bench scoring: Pacers 33, Celtics 31
  • This was the 31st game of the season decided by five points or less or in overtime.
  • The Pacers (25-36) lost for the 13th time in 14 road games.
  • Indiana won the battle of the boards (46-35) for the seventh consecutive game.
  • The Pacers had 17 offensive rebounds converted into 15 second-chance points.
  • T.J. Ford scored 11 of his team-high 23 points in the fourth quarter. He pulled six rebounds and added four assists.
  • Troy Murphy had his 36th double-double with 20 points and 13 rebounds, adding three assists and two blocks.
  • Boston opened the fourth quarter with a 15-4 run to take a 92-79 lead with 8:23 left but Ford led the Pacers back. They cut it to 98-95 on two free throws by Murphy with 1:47 lseft but could get no closer as Glen Davis scored Boston's final six points.
  • Ray Allen scored 30 points on 11-of-16 shooting, including 6-of-10 from the arc, to lead the Celtics (47-13).
  • Making his debut after signing earlier in the day, Stephon Marbury played 13 minutes and scored eight points.
  • The Pacers return home to face Chauncey Billups, Carmelo Anthony and the Denver Nuggets Sunday in Conseco Fieldhouse (7 p.m.., Fox Sports Indiana, 1070 The Fan).
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  • Photo gallery
  • Plus-minus rankings
  • Recap | Box score
  • Feb. 27, 2009 at Boston
    Celtics 104, Pacers 99


    PACERS COACH JIM O'BRIEN
    (Re Ray Allen’s great shooting) “Ray is a great player and is hard to guard off screens. If you guard him on one side of the court, he sprints to the other side of the court and they have big bodies setting screens. You give him six inches, he puts it down, most of his shots were well guarded and he knocked him down. He is a great player.”

    (Re Team play) “Our guys played hard and stayed very focused. We sagged off their non shooters and gave them some problems but Allen got hot and when he gets hot its hard to beat them.”

    (Re Guarding Ray Allen) “Sometimes the people we have on him are smaller people and he just rises up and he is one of the games great shooters in the history of the game. When he gets on and they use their bodies to free him up its aweful difficult to stop.”

    “Brandon Rush played well and it is probably one his best games of the year, offensively and defensively. That’s why we drafted him in the lottery and we hope he can build some consistency into his game doing what he did tonight.”


    PACERS GUARD BRANDON RUSH
    (Re: Last two minutes) “We still had a chance in this game, and coach drew up a good play. They defended well, an we didn’t end up getting a good shot like we wanted.”

    “I started off just staying aggressive, looking for my shot, and it was just dropping tonight.”


    PACERS GUARD T.J. FORD
    “It’s going to be a tough task if they shoot 50 percent for the game. That’s tough to beat in the NBA. And that’s what happened.”

    (Re: Ray Allen) “He was making shots all night. He made some tough shots, and I think there are certain teams in the league that you just play extremely well against, and we’re one of those teams. He just shoots the ball unbelievably – whether there is a hand in his face or not. The comfort level and the rhythm he has against us is unbelievable.”

    “We had it close, but they made a run. I don’t know what it was. At the beginning of the 4th quarter, we fought our way back, a couple of possessions if we had got some stops, we would have given ourselves a chance. Under two minutes, we still had a chance. Big Baby stepped up and he was in the right place at the right time and you have to give him credit for making his free throws.”


    CELTICS COACH DOC RIVERS
    (Re was he surprised by Marbury’s play) “You could see in the first half, I was laughing with him at halftime, I said, ‘You looked like Jerry Quarry there, for a second.’ He had the boxer legs, you know. The one that Paul threw, that’s a lay up but his legs – he just couldn’t get his legs up under him. But in the second half he was terrific. You could just see his basketball IQ. The one thing our bigs were laughing at, they got to get their hands ready on pick and rolls. I mean, he handcuffed them three or four times. They just wasn’t expecting the ball. But what I was impressed with was where he found Ray (Allen.) We ran Floppy, that’s the NBA play, and you know, he not only got it to him but he got it to him right in rhythm. You can see that’s just from being a point guard. It’s nice when you have Rondo doing that and Steph doing that now. And having Ray and Eddie (House) on the floor was huge. Because they spread the floor, and it just really worked tonight. And it’s going to keep getting better. You can see that. Even Mikki (Moore) I thought had a stretch with energy and making things happen. Both of them you can see they’re lost a little bit, so there’s no practice tomorrow but we’re going to bring just the group that doesn’t know anything in, and allow them to work. I’m looking forward to Monday and Tuesday because we have two days of practice. Those will be big days for us.”

    (Re Marbury’s playing after so long) “He still had timing, which you usually don’t have. I was really surprised, you sit out that long and your timing is that good.”

    (Re Ray Allen’s shooting) “I wanted to take him out twice because he had gone over his minute allotment, for stretch minutes. He played twelve minutes in a row and I was about to – I actually had Paul (Pierce) up and told him ‘sit down.’ When a guy gets it going like that there is no minute allotment. You just keep going until you think his shot has dried up. But, boy, he was fantastic.”

    (Re does Mikki Moore have to be any better than tonight to help the team) “No he doesn’t. Actually Mikki can be what he was tonight and help this team. The good news is you know he’s going to be a lot better.”

    (Re will there be a quicker transition for these players than last year’s late additions) “Well, I don’t know. I think for Mikki because he was playing. I think Steph’s just going to have up and down for a while. He’s going to have some great nights and he’s going to struggle some nights. I think as far as picking stuff up, I’ve been very impressed with both of them. We ran three sets today with Steph and we literally put him in a half hour before the game, and he executed one to the second option, which we were laughing, because that doesn’t happen sometimes with any of our guys. So that was very nice.”

    (Re his challenges with new players at this point in the season) “Just chemistry. And more than that, not even chemistry, continuity would be a better word. Continuity on the floor. How much can you put in? I don’t know the answer. That’ll depend on how much they can pick up. It would be great to have all our stuff in by the playoffs for both of those guys. I think that’s probably impossible. But you can have enough stuff in that you can function as a really good team.”

    (Re team’s overall play) “Okay. Not great. Played in stretches. First quarter we played great. Had a tough second quarter. Third quarter we played all right, and then that one stretch with the bench was fantastic. We were good enough to win tonight.”


    CELTICS GUARD RAY ALLEN
    “My legs felt great, my limbs were feeling good. They were chasing me pretty hard but I was getting just ahead of them where I could get my shots off. There were 2 shots where I rushed.”

    (Re thoughts on Marbury) “He was great. It was great to see him finally on the floor. It was great to see him play just from vantage point. He and I came in together and he’s glad to be back on the floor around a bunch of guys that love playing the game and enjoy playing the game”

    “I told him based on me getting traded he still owes me about 200 grand the way I figure it. I could go back to Milwaukee, he cost me money with that pick. We’ve paralleled each other going back to high school. I remember sitting with him in the bleachers at Nike Camp. He was a little kid. He was in 9th grade, I was going into my senior year. He had a lot of energy, I got to know him at an early age. Then draft night, and then obviously playing and following him in the league. Our careers have definitely come full circle.”


    CELTICS GUARD STEPHON MARBURY
    "I think I was just so happy to be out there playing and happy to be out there playing with those guys. I was tired but my legs were heavy. In the 4th quarter I found some energy. My legs kinda forgot about what was going on."

    "This has been a long 3 days for me. I haven’t really slept in 3 days. I got here at 5 in the morning and then got up at 8:30 and taking physicals and doing a bunch of different things; it’s been a long day for me.”

    (Re to the crowd tonight) “The crowd! I was so happy, I didn’t know how they were going to respond. They really showed me a lot of love. I felt that. I felt wanted.”

    (Re to hitting first jumper) “It felt great. Especially cause the crowd went crazy. It felt great.”

    (Re to thoughts on his team) “Defense. They play defense. It’s the only thing they talk about it, defense. Offense it takes care of itself. The thing I like about the offense is that it’s free, there aren’t any resitrictions. Everyone just plays, whoever has the open shot, gets the shot.”

    (Re to guarding bigger guys) “I mean I can guard guys bigger than me. I’ve never even seen him play before. Normally I’m able to scout, watch the guy I’m playing against. With me not playing in a while, they’re on a different page then I am. Trying to pretty much catch up. In a couple of weeks once I get my legs under me and I get used to getting bumped and running and getting picked, I’ll be ok.”

    “The best part about this is, when I was sitting on the bench, I never felt like we were going to lose. I was looking down at the bench and I can remember myself sitting down there, feeling how they were feeling. They were up, into the game and sitting down at the opposite side, I felt confident about winning the game.”


    CELTICS GUARD PAUL PIERCE
    (Re: On Thumb) “It’s a little sore, tender…really hesitant to really get any contact going for the simple fact that it came out twice last game, but something I’m going to have to get over mentally. It’s going to be like that for awhile and to continue to ice and wrap it up for the games.”

    “I was a little hesitant and just being aggressive and putting myself in positions for anybody to slap at it and its probably going to take a few days or a week for me getting over the fact that I’ve seen my bone or my joint come all the way out. That’s about it, the doctor examined it and it’s just going to take time to heal and once I get over it psychology I think I’ll be alright.”

    “I can shoot, I think it’s not effecting a lot of my shooting but it’s like I said, just really hesitant in being aggressive in the lane and cautious of guys slapping down at the hand…that’s about it.”

    “No, I couldn’t tell if anyone was looking to slap at it...this is just normal basketball plays, when you drive in the lane or go up for lay-ups guys slap at the ball all the time and normally hit you on the hand and it’s normal things that I was just cautious of especially when you get into the lane area.”

    (Re: On Marbury) “He really looked good tonight for no practicing just coming in first time seeing him before the game and coach throwing him into the fire. It’s going to probably take awhile for him to get his legs under him but definitely he looked really good for his first day out there. He looked comfortable with the second unit and he’s only going to get better, we believe as he continues to play and practice but he looked good for the first time out.”

    (Re: Marbury) “He’s a guy who can make plays…he’s a pretty good defender at the 1 and the 2 and a guy who can knock down shots and get into the lane and find open people so a guy that can definitely bring energy off the bench and give Rondo some help and also I think he really compliments Eddie House and Ray when he’s out there with the 2nd unit.”

    “When you haven’t played in so long, the adrenaline is flowing and you feel like you haven’t been off. I remember when I sat out those games and I came back for that first game and I played well that first game and after that it was like…didn’t play too well for about 5 or 10 games. Like I said, it’s going to take awhile. I was talking to him on the sideline and he was like it’s hard to get his legs, he was a little tired but that’s normal things for being off for over a year so when you don’t play the game at this level it doesn’t matter what you do in the summer or in your off time it’s tough to be in basketball shape but hopefully with the practice time and throwing him into the fire in these games he’s only going to get better and this is a good stepping stone for him to just come out and get his confidence up for the first game.”

    (Re: Mikki and Marbury joining team) “Implement them in what we’re trying to do and the culture around here…helping them understand how they’re going to help us and understand what kind of team we have here…bringing them along and putting them in positions where they can thrive...understanding our chemistry. Those are the things when you bring in 2 new guys, just helping them feel comfortable in the locker room, on the road, on the court, things of that nature and these are things that don’t happen overnight. The more time we spend together the more court time we spend together we can definitely improve on it.”

    “Mikki is solid and when he in NJ, where he had his best year at, he really fits the mold of this team…really aggressive…defensively, long and athletic and can knock down a 15 footer and that’s what we’re going to need for him…a guy who has great length with the backup center that can spill Perk some minutes and he did a good job tonight.”

    “It’s good adding these guys but most importantly we want to get healthy. Once you get Kevin back out there it’s just ok OK...implementing those guys with Kevin also…once we get healthy, and get Kevin back in a couple more weeks and then for the last maybe 15 games we can start thinking about hey, we’re just in time to make our push. Obviousally right now we are just trying to get through these stretch of games without the guys that aren’t out there…but especially when these guys come back and we’re at full strength and really turning it on.”

    (Re: Marbury being nervous) “If he was nervous, he really didn’t show it. He was loose back there talking to the guys. He was talking to Big Baby..sitting next to him laughing and joking. Just conversating trying to fit in with t he guys. If he was nervous he really didn’t show it. He was lo.ose and he came in pretty comfortable.”

    (Re: On guys wanting to sign with Boston) “Well two years ago I would of wanted to be somewhere where a team won a championship, but it’s great now that you’re attracting guys who come off waivers, or guys that are free agents. Boston hasn’t been a place since I’ve been in the league that a free agent would want to come. But if you create an environment and the great guys around here you create an environment where guys want to be at.”

    “Seeing Steph in CA and playing against him or seeing him out, just when you see a guy like that, not that we had an off-court relationship we come to a mutual respect for one another and you speak…just knowing Steph for playing in the McDonalds game and just seeing him around…he has a house in LA so a few times you just able to see him. So its sorta kinda natural to see him today and go up to him and tell him how happy I am to have you, good to see you back on the court…things of that nature and I just think as we’re together more the relationship is going to grow and get better over time.”