Rewind: Pacers vs. Celtics 120106


Jan. 6, 2012 at Boston

Game Rewind: Pacers 87, Celtics 74


With balanced offense, tenacious rebounding and impassioned defense, the Pacers built a 13-point fourth-quarter lead and then held off the inevitable Boston rally to pull out an impressive 87-74 victory over the Celtics Friday in TD Garden.

The win snapped a seven-game losing streak in Boston for the Pacers (5-2), erased the bitter taste of a 35-point loss in Miami Wednesday night, and gave them a split of the longest road trip of the season as they return home to face Charlotte Saturday in Bankers Life Fieldhouse. It also snapped a four-game win streak for the Celtics (4-4).

Danny Granger scored 15 and Darren Collison 14 and both had big 3-pointers in the closing minutes to help the Pacers pull away after Boston had cut the lead to seven with four minutes left.


Granger again struggled with his shot, going 3-of-14 from the field. Collison scored 12 of his 14 in the second half. George Hill scored 13 with five rebounds and was joined off the bench by Tyler Hansbrough, who scored 12. Paul George had 12 points and Roy Hibbert posted his fifth double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds. David West had 10 rebounds. The Pacers shot 41 percent, outrebounded the Celtics 47-36 and had a 33-14 advantage in bench scoring.

Ray Allen led the Celtics with 23 points on 7-of-11 shooting, 4-of-5 from the 3-point line. Kevin Garnett scored 12, Rajon Rondo 11 with nine assists and five rebounds. Paul Pierce scored just 10 points on 3-of-17 shooting, 1-of-6 from the arc. The Celtics shot 39 percent.


"Great win for our team. We have confidence that we can beat any team in any building. This was a game that we knew to win here, we'd have to make it like an Eastern Conference playoff-type battle, a grind-it-out defensive effort. Both teams defended at an extremely high level. All of our guys contributed." - Pacers coach Frank Vogel

"All we talked about the last two days was our defensive disposition and bringing it at a higher level. Quite frankly, they helped us in the first quarter by bringing it at the level that I'm trying to get our guys to bring it at. They saw it, they felt it offensively and we said, 'What they're doing, that's what we need to get to.' And we started bringing it at that level, too." - Vogel

"Our bench is always going to be a strength of ours. We're a deep team. A.J. Price hasn't played really a relevant minute all year and with Lance (Stephenson)'s injury, I always have confidence in A.J. Price. He was our backup point guard last year, he's a heck of a basketball player. He led that second unit in terms of organizing our offense and Jeff Foster led our defensive effort with his toughness and grit." - Vogel

"George Hill had a stretch that I hadn't seen from him yet. He was on fire on the offensive end and he was defending on the defensive end. He's a playoff-tested vet that we picked up in the offseason and he's a major contributor for us right now." - Vogel

"That shows you the character of us. In the NBA you've got to be able to bounce back right away. There's a lot of games and sometimes they may not go your way but we were able to respond in the right way and it shows the heart of us." - Collison

"I've been more of a facilitator this year trying to get my teammates involved because we've got so many weapons but nights like this when a big game is on that's when I've got to be more aggressive and make the defense play honest and I thought I did that tonight." - Collison

"We know the Celtics are a very good team, a playoff-tested team and they really tested us today. We responded the right way. They've got great players and I'm just proud of the way we responded." - Collison


The Pacers (33) and Celtics (25) combined for 58 points in the first half, matching the third-lowest total in league history. Boston's total matched its franchise-record low for either half, most recently achieved in 1999 against Milwaukee. The NBA record for fewest points in the first half is 55 set twice, while 57 has been done twice. The Pacers had been a part of two previous 58-point halves, Jan. 15, 2005, against Dallas and Nov. 3, 2005, against Washington. They also were involved in the third-lowest point total in the second half with the Spurs in 1998. In all, that means the Pacers have been involved in four of the 14 lowest-scoring halves in NBA history.


With Hill scoring eight quick points including a pair of 3-pointers, the Pacers opened a 73-60 lead with 8:40 remaining but Boston put together a 10-4 counterpunch to cut the lead to 77-70. Granger came up with a steal, drew a foul on a drive to the bucket and made both to push the lead to nine, then fed Collison for his big 3-pointer and followed with one of his own to make it a 15-point game with less than a minute to go.

Both offenses found rhythm in the third quarter as the Pacers and Celtics combined for 60 points in the period -- two more than they produced in the first half. With Collison playing much more assertively, combining with George for 16 points, the Pacers withsthood several Boston challenges to build leads as large as nine points and were up 63-55 heading into the fourth quarter.

After a first half that included a streak of 11 consecutive missed shots and 33 percent shooting -- 7 of 27 from the starters -- the Pacers were somehow ahead by eight. They did it with defense, holding Boston to 27 percent shooting, outrebounding the Celtics 30-18 and outscoring them 16-3 in bench points.

Indiana missed 16 of its first 19 shots including 11 in a row but only fell behind by four, 13-9, as the Celtics also struggled for offensive rhythm. Tyler Hansbrough and A.J. Price came off the bench to provide a high-energy spark and the second unit fueled an 11-1 run that put the Pacers up 20-14 early in the second quarter.

Boston then missed its final eight shots of the half as the Pacers closed on an 8-0 run to take the biggest lead of the game by either team into the locker room.


Foster made his first appearance of the season late in the first quarter. He had been out with a sore lower back. … Stephenson sat out the game with a sprained left ankle that occurred Wednesday in Miami, so A.J. Price received his most extensive playing time as the backup point guard. … JaJuan Johnson, a second-round pick from Purdue, played the final 51 seconds for Boston. His college teammate and fellow second-round pick, E'Twaun Moore, did not play.


The Pacers return home to face the Charlotte Bobcats Saturday (7 p.m., Fox Sports Indiana, WIBC 93 FM) in Bankers Life Fieldhouse. It's a rare home appearance in January for the Pacers, who play 11 road games this month. The Pacers have won six in a row from the Bobcats, five in a row at home.


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