Friday, January 4th at 8:00 PM EST at TD Garden
Game Rewind: IND 75, BOS 94
by Scott Agness | January 4, 2013, 11:37 PM
The Boston Celtics (15-17), who have returned to full strength, fought all game long with a chip on their shoulder. After being blasted in their last four outings, losing each game by an average of 20 points, it was their turn to give the beating.
The game was a grind in the first quarter, which was to be expected with two defensive-minded teams on the court. They combined for 31 points in the opening quarter and neither team shot above 35 percent. The Pacers (19-14) led 16-15 after 12 minutes of play but they never overcame their shooting struggles and fell in Beantown, 94-75.
Let the numbers tell the story.
Indiana shot a season-low 31.8 percent from the floor, failed to make more than seven field goals in a quarter and turned the ball over 19 times. Just one starter scored in double figures—David West with 10 points.
The game was lost in the second quarter when Boston outscored the Pacers 23-7 over a seven minute stretch and led by as many as 15. They scored 32 points in the second quarter while the Pacers had just 35 first half points. Despite the Pacers' offensive woes, shooting 32 percent from the floor and Paul George and David West a combined 5-for-23, they were only down 47-35 at the break.
The Celtics gave the Pacers one of their biggest physical battles of the season and the frustration piled up. Lance Stephenson, David West and Frank Vogel each were given technical fouls. The physical nature of the game was most obvious early in the fourth quarter when Tyler Hansbrough took a blow to his head from Kevin Garnett. After looking at the monitors, the officials charged Garnett with a flagrant-two foul and was ejected.
A few minutes later, Jeff Pendergraph had to exit the game to receive six stitches for a laceration over his right eye.
It didn’t help the Pacers' cause that they were without George Hill and Sam Young. With Hill missing his third straight game, D.J. Augustin had his hands full with the always-difficult Rajon Rondo.
With another game tomorrow night (at home vs. the Milwaukee Bucks), Coach Vogel went with his bench in the final quarter. Rookie guard Orlando Johnson, who hadn’t seen the court in 10 games, played the entire quarter, scored his first points as a pro, and finished with seven in the 19-point loss.
The Pacers took a big punch Friday night against an aging, yet competitive Celtics team. Most of their problems centered on their inability to put the ball in the hole. Paul George and David West were a combined 8-of-36. They took a beating and after the second quarter, never got within single digits.
Inside the Numbers
Tyler Hansbrough was the only effective Pacers player on the floor. He scored a season-high 19 points on 7-of-11 shooting and had four rebounds in 23 minutes of work. The only other player in double figures was David West with 10.
Rookie guard Orlando Johnson was in Fort Wayne for a D-League game last night, but caught the first flight out to Boston Friday morning to help the shorthanded Pacers. He scored his first career basket and finished with seven points while playing the entire fourth quarter.
Rajon Rondo finished with 18 points, seven assists and five rebounds in the win. Kevin Garnett scored 18 and pulled down seven rebounds before being tossed in the fourth. Paul Pierce and Courtney Lee each added 13.
The Pacers had finished better than 83 percent from the line in each of the last three games. Tonight, they were 17-of-28 (61 percent).
The Celtics outscored the Pacers 44-32 in the paint.
Indiana’s bench outscored their starters 38-37.
"I give credit to Boston's defense and bouncing back out of their slump. You know, we knew it was going to be a tough game. We knew they got championship level people over there with great pride and great experience, great know how. And you know it was only a matter of time before their defense bounced back, and it bounced back in a big way tonight." – Frank Vogel
"I thought we hit back, but I mean it was a physical battle both ways. We just didn't score the ball and we didn't take care of the ball." – Frank Vogel on the physical nature
"Shots just weren't going down for us. I mean, we had a lot of good looks. And it was just one of those games where it was just lopsided. You know, we couldn't get shots to go in and they were making everything." – Paul George
"I feel like they got on a roll offensively, things were going for them, and guys were hitting shots. We couldn't really answer back." – Tyler Hansbrough
"What it was, was the same thing in the first quarter except those quarters we scored. In the first quarter neither team could score, both teams – Indiana's a great defensive team and they got into us, they were physical, we were physical, nobody could score. And you just felt sitting there someone's going to make an offensive run at some point because the defensive stuff is going to stay, and it was us." – Celtics head coach Doc Rivers
Stat of the Game
The Celtics shot 45 percent in the game to the Pacers’ measly 31.8%.
- The Celtics have won the last three meetings and eight of the last 11.
- Indiana drops to 8-11 on the road.
- Jeff Pendergraph received six stitches for a cut over his right eye.
- George Hill missed his third game in a row with a strained right groin. Sam Young (sprained ankle) did not make the trip.