Rewind: Pacers vs. Celtics 120127
Friday, Jan. 27, 2012 at Boston
It doesn't seem to matter who the Celtics don't have, as long as they do have Paul Pierce.
Boston's veteran leader took over the game in the third quarter, scoring 17 of his 28 points in the third quarter as the Celtics broke open the game and pulled away for a 94-87 victory over the Pacers Friday at TD Garden.
The game was tied 46-all early in the third after a 12-4 Indiana run but Pierce scored seven points and assisted on Avery Bradley's layup as the Celtics countered with an 11-0 run to regain control.
The Pacers (12-6) dropped to 7-5 on the road while the Celtics (9-9) won their fourth in a row despite the absences of starters Ray Allen, Rajon Rondo and Jermaine O'Neal.
BY THE NUMBERS
Danny Granger led the Pacers with 21 points, adding six rebounds. Paul George scored 16 with nine boards, David West 14 with eight rebounds and Roy Hibbert had 11 points and seven rebounds. The Pacers shot just 34 percent from the field and were 1-of-19 from the 3-point line -- missing their final 18 attempts. The second unit struggled mightily, combining to produce just 17 points on 4 of 21 shooting.
Pierce flirted with a triple-double, adding 10 rebounds and eight assists to his 28 points. Chris Wilcox scored a season-high 14 off the bench, Kevin Garnett and Mickael Pietrus 13 each and Brandon Bass 12. The Celtics shot 46 percent.
STAT OF THE GAME
In the first halves of their two games in Boston, the Pacers totaled 67 points, shot 25 of 80 (31.3 percent) and committed 17 turnovers. The 33 points posted on Jan. 6 and the 34 points posted tonight are the team's two lowest-scoring halves of the season.
Much like their last trip to Boston, the Pacers couldn't find the basket in the first half, managing just 34 points on 12 of 40 shooting and committing 10 turnovers. Unlike the last trip, however, the defense wasn't nearly as effective. The Celtics got 26 points from Wilcox, Pietrus and Bass in the half and led 42-34 at the break. Despite a considerable size advantage up front the Pacers couldn't get anything going inside as Hibbert shot 1 of 7 and scored just two points and David West scored four.
The game was tied 17-all late in the first quarter but the Pacers missed seven in a row and the Celtics put together a 10-point run to make it a double-digit margin early in the second and the Pacers were unable to mount a challenge during a second period in which they shot 5-of-23 (21.7 percent).
With Granger scoring six quick points out of the locker room, the Pacers opened the half with a 12-4 run to tie it at 46-all, but Pierce took over from there as the Celtics had an 11-0 run to rebuild an 11-point lead to take the wind out of Indiana's rally.
With Pierce on the bench early in the fourth, Garnett sparked a 10-2 run that pushed the lead to 81-65. Dunks by Hibbert and West keyed a 10-0 Indiana run that cut the lead to 81-75 with 5:56 remaining but Pietrus hit a 3-pointer that effectively closed the door.
Hibbert limped to the locker room midway through the second quarter with a sprained right ankle sustained when he landed awkwardly after blocking Chris Wilcox's shot. Hansbrough started the second half in his place. Hibbert checked in with 9:18 left in the third period. … The Pacers made their first 26 free throws but with a chance to set a franchise record for most made without a miss, Granger missed No. 27 in the fourth quarter. They finished 30 of 31. … The Pacers are 8-0 when they hit at least one-third of their 3-pointers, but 4-6 when they do not. … Lou Amundson left the game briefly in the second quarter after getting poked in the eye. … The Celtics were again without three starters. Rajon Rondo missed his fifth straight game with a sprained wrist, Ray Allen his third straight with a jammed ankle and Jermaine O'Neal his second with a bruised knee. Reserve guard Keyon Dooling (hip pointer) also was out. … Avery Bradley and Mickael Pietrus started in the backcourt with Brandon Bass at power forward. … The Pacers played their sixth in a row without backup center Jeff Foster (lower back procedure), who also is likely to miss Sunday's game in Orlando.
The road trip concludes Sunday in Orlando with a rematch against the Magic (6 p.m., Fox Sports Indiana, WIBC 93 FM). The Magic routed the Pacers 102-83 Tuesday in Bankers Life Fieldhouse, making 13 3-pointers, four from forward Ryan Anderson who scored a game-high 24 points with eight rebounds. The Pacers shot just .397 and totaled 54 points in the final three periods.