Pacers vs Celtics

Pacers vs. Celtics

Evan Turner led the Celtics with 13 points, 11 rebounds and 12 assists as they beat the Pacers 100-87 to keep their playoff hopes alive.

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Pacers vs. Celtics

Evan Turner led the Celtics with 13 points, 11 rebounds and 12 assists as they beat the Pacers 100-87 to keep their playoff hopes alive.
Apr 1, 2015  |  00:00

Pickin' Pockets

C.J. Miles strips Isaiah Thomas and takes off for the transition score, only to be stripped by Avery Bradley.
Apr 1, 2015  |  00:00

Game Rewind: Pacers 87, Celtics 100

Wednesday, April 1, 2015 at 7:30 PM ET at TD Garden
by Wheat Hotchkiss
Pacers.com Writer/Editor
@Wheat_Hotchkiss






Game Recap

The Pacers headed into Boston on Wednesday knowing that it wasn't a must-win game in a literal sense, but also fully aware that a loss could be very damaging to their playoff hopes. Still, the Celtics (34-41) jumped in front early and never trailed in the final three quarters, handing Indiana (32-43) a 100-87 loss.

The Pacers have now dropped nine of their last 11 contests, falling into 11th place in the Eastern Conference. The Blue & Gold now trail Charlotte by a half-game, are two games back of Boston, and three games back of both Brooklyn and Miami in the loss column. After losses on Tuesday night in Brooklyn and Wednesday at TD Garden, the Nets and Celtics both now own the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Pacers.

RELATED: Playoff Picture (Latest Standings and More) »

Tyler Zeller and Kelly Olynyk each scored 19 points for the Celtics on Wednesday, while Evan Turner recorded a triple-double against his former team. Turner, Indiana's big trade-deadline acquisition last season, finished with 13 points, 11 rebounds, and 12 assists for Boston, his third triple-double this season.

The Pacers got off to a slow start offensively. Indiana scored just 16 points in the first quarter as Boston seized control of the game early. The home team stretched its lead to as many as 11 points before Indiana rallied, cutting the deficit to just four on C.J. Miles' 3-pointer with 2:23 remaining in the second quarter.

From there, however, the Celtics reeled off a 9-0 run to stretch their lead back to double digits heading into the break.

The Pacers managed to climb within six points on three occasions in the second half, the last occurring when a pair of free throws from Rodney Stuckey made it a 77-71 game with 8:23 to play. But Boston responded with another 10-3 spurt and never let the visitors back within single digits the rest of the way.

"We scrapped and clawed and tried our best to make it a game," Pacers head coach Frank Vogel said after the loss. "But they made more shots, they made more plays, they were quicker to the ball...Their style of play won out."

George Hill led Indiana with 21 points, six rebounds, and six assists in the loss. Hill was very efficient, making 9-of-11 shots overall and 3-of-4 from beyond the 3-point arc.

In the most important game of the season-to-date, both starting shooting guard C.J. Miles and sixth man Rodney Stuckey played in the first half despite dealing with injuries. Stuckey, hampered by a sore right wrist, scored 16 points on 6-of-9 shooting in 19:45 off the bench. Miles, who sprained his ankle in Tuesday's loss in Brooklyn, scored 12 points on 5-of-11 shooting.

But beyond Hill, Miles, and Stuckey, Indiana struggled mightily from the field. The rest of the Pacers' roster made just 14-of-50 shots (28 percent).

Washington, Ind. native Zeller dominated the first half, scoring 17 points on 7-of-8 shooting. Olynyk, Zeller's backup, played despite dealing with a nasty bruise on his left eye from being elbowed in the face by teammate Shavlik Randolph during a pregame game of one-on-one. It didn't seem to hamper the big man's vision, as he made 7-of-10 shots and scored 10 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter.

"It’s kind of like if you’re wearing sunglasses, I can see out of the bottom third maybe," Olynyk said of the injury. "There’s a lot of things that if you put your mind to, you can do, that you don’t think you can."

Turner made just 6-of-17 shots, but did a good job creating for his teammates, dishing out 12 assists while only committing one turnover.

With seven games left on the regular season schedule, the Pacers will look to start a winning streak on Friday night, when they welcome the Charlotte Hornets to Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

"It's certainly disappointing (to lose in Brooklyn and Boston)," Vogel said. "They're big games, but we've just got to focus on the seven that we have left and try to make a run at it."

Inside the Numbers

Boston scored 32 points in the fourth quarter to put Wednesday's game away. Jae Crowder scored 11 of his 13 points in the period for Boston. Olynyk added 10, connecting on two 3-pointers.

The Celtics won the battle of the boards, 46-39. The Pacers are now just 8-22 on the season when outrebounded by their opponents.

Roy Hibbert had a rough night for the Blue & Gold, getting into early foul trouble and having trouble covering Boston's big men on the perimeter. Hibbert also missed his first three free throw attempts, snapping a streak of 28 consecutive makes from the charity stripe.

Hibbert's partner in the post, David West, had 10 points and eight boards but went just 4-for-12 from the field and 2-for-6 from the free throw line.

Boston won despite making just 6-of-27 attempts from 3-point range (22 percent). The Pacers were 6-for-15 from long range (40 percent).

You Can Quote Me On That

"I think I was getting into position in the paint where I wanted, but shots weren’t falling and guarding their spread lineup was real tough." -Hibbert

"It's very frustrating. Everything is on the line and we are just blowing it away and giving it away. We got to figure out a way to get it done...We got to stay the course. Hopefully the basketball gods help us out and some other teams lose that we need to lose and we get a couple more wins, but it's very frustrating." -George Hill

"It looked really bad, but he's a tough guy. I'm not surprised that he would tough it out." -Vogel on Olynyk's eye injury

"The effort was really good. We talked about it before the Charlotte game; we have to play with a defensive DNA. And the last two games we have." -Celtics head coach Brad Stevens

"It’s just great to win in general. We’re in a playoff race and that’s pretty much it. I don’t have any ill-heart towards anybody. At the end of the day I’m fine, I’m happy. Once again, we were able to win this game and get one step closer to our goal." -Turner on playing well against his former team

Stat of the Game

In their most important game of the season to this point, the Pacers shot five more free throws than the Celtics but still were outscored at the foul line by three. That's because Indiana went just 13-for-23 from the line (56 percent). Hibbert and West combined to make just 3-of-10 free throws in the loss.

Noteworthy

  • With two rebounds, Pacers guard C.J. Watson reached 1,000 career rebounds (according to Basketball-Reference.com).
  • With the loss, Indiana falls to 5-12 on the year when playing the second night of a back-to-back.
  • The Celtics lead the overall series with Indiana 89-73 and are now 52-23 against the Pacers in Boston.

Up Next

The Pacers return home to host Al Jefferson and the Charlotte Hornets on Friday night at 7:00 PM. Find Tickets »

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