Pacers at Celtics

GAME RECAP: Pacers 97, Celtics 91

Victor Oladipo leads all scoring with 35 points as the Pacers get the win over the Celtics, 97-91.

Postgame 180209

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GAME RECAP: Pacers 97, Celtics 91

Victor Oladipo leads all scoring with 35 points as the Pacers get the win over the Celtics, 97-91.
Feb 9, 2018  |  01:56

Oladipo's 35 Points Key #PacersWin in Boston

Feb. 9, 2018 - Pacers All-Star guard Victor Oladipo led all scorers with 35 points on 15-of-29 shooting, 10 rebounds, and five steals in Indiana's 97-91 win over the Celtics in Boston.
Feb 9, 2018  |  01:58

Turner Crushes the Putback

February 09, 2018: Indiana Pacers vs. Boston Celtics - Highlights
Feb 9, 2018  |  02:06

Oladipo Spins and Finishes

February 09, 2018: Indiana Pacers vs. Boston Celtics - Highlights
Feb 9, 2018  |  02:57

Turner Big And-One J

February 09, 2018: Indiana Pacers vs. Boston Celtics - Highlights
Feb 9, 2018  |  03:36

Al Jefferson Dunks it Home

February 09, 2018: Indiana Pacers vs. Boston Celtics - Highlights
Feb 9, 2018  |  01:43

Oladipo Steals Another One

February 09, 2018: Indiana Pacers vs. Boston Celtics - Highlights
Feb 9, 2018  |  01:24

Thad Bangs in Traffic

February 09, 2018: Indiana Pacers vs. Boston Celtics - Highlights
Feb 9, 2018  |  01:01

Pacers Force Turnover

February 09, 2018: Indiana Pacers vs. Boston Celtics - Highlights
Feb 9, 2018  |  00:40

Oladipo Flushes with the Left

February 09, 2018: Indiana Pacers vs. Boston Celtics - Highlights
Feb 9, 2018  |  00:20

Game Rewind: Pacers 97, Celtics 91

Friday, February 9, 2018 at 7:30 PM ET at TD Garden
by Wheat Hotchkiss
Pacers.com Writer/Editor
@Wheat_Hotchkiss

Game Recap

Two days after waiting out a rare indoor rain delay, the Pacers weathered a metaphorical storm on Friday night, surviving a furious rally to hold off the East-leading Celtics in Boston, 97-91.

Indiana (31-25) — back in action for the first time since Monday after Wednesday's game at New Orleans was postponed due to a leak in the roof at the Smoothie Center — raced out to a 26-point lead on Friday against a Celtics team playing on the second night of a back-to-back.

But Boston (40-17) mounted a furious charge in the second half and actually took the lead on multiple occasions in the fourth quarter.

The Celtics led 86-85 with four minutes to play after a pair of free throws by All-Star guard Kyrie Irving. On the other end, Indiana's All-Star Victor Oladipo missed a 3-pointer, but third-year center Myles Turner was there to clean it up, throwing down a putback dunk to put Indiana back in front with 3:51 to play.

The Pacers' defense buckled down over the next couple minutes, allowing them to slowly add to the lead. A Bojan Bogdanovic free throw after a defensive three seconds call and a pair of driving buckets by Oladipo made it a 91-85 Pacers lead with 1:37 remaining.

Terry Rozier made one of two foul shots to trim Boston's deficit to five points, but Turner answered with a three-point play to make it a three-possession game. Irving drove right back down the floor and converted a three-point play of his own with 1:04 to play.

Indiana ran the shot clock all the way down on the other end. Turner missed a mid-range jumper, but Cory Joseph came flying in to tip the long rebound to Bogdanovic, forcing Boston to foul.

Turner made one of two free throws before Irving quickly raced down for a quick layup to make it 95-91 with 28.6 seconds remaining. The Celtics fouled Thaddeus Young — just a 55.1 percent free throw shooter on the year — but the Pacers captain calmly sank both shots from the charity stripe.

Irving missed a three on the other end and the Pacers were able to run out the clock and secure the win.

"I think down the stretch we just did a great job of calming down, getting stops, and getting great looks on the offensive end," Oladipo told FOX Sports Indiana's Jeremiah Johnson after the win.

After missing Monday's loss to the Wizards due to illness, Oladipo led all scorers with 35 points on 15-of-29 shooting, 10 rebounds, and five steals. It was the latest in a long run of memorable performances from the fifth-year guard and first-time All-Star.

"He's been doing that all year for us, he's been great," Joseph said. "As you know, he's an All Star. We're going to need him to continue to do that."

The Pacers dominated in the early going on Friday. Indiana raced out to a 28-12 lead behind 11 points from Oladipo and eight from Turner and took a 30-16 lead into the second quarter. As a team, Indiana went 11-for-18 from the field and 4-for-6 from 3-point range, while Boston was just 6-for-27 and 0-for-6 from beyond the arc.

A 10-2 run early in the second quarter pushed the Pacers' lead to 42-20. They maintained their stifling defense throughout the first half, leading by as many as 26 points and taking a 59-38 advantage into the break.

The Celtics stormed back after halftime, however. Boston used an early 10-2 run to trim their deficit to 14 points. The hosts then closed the third quarter with a 20-6 surge, capped by Rozier banking in a 35-foot 3-pointer to beat the buzzer and make it a 76-72 game heading into the fourth.

Both teams sputtered offensively to open the final frame, combining for just 10 points over the first half of the fourth quarter. Boston finally tied the game at 80 on Al Horford's putback with 5:24 remaining and — after an Oladipo jumper on the other end — took its first lead on Horford's 3-pointer with 4:45 to play.

"I thought our guys showed toughness from the start," Pacers head coach Nate McMillan said. "We knew (the Celtics) were going to come back and give us a shot, and they did in the third quarter. Our guys just hung in there. They kept their composure, started to execute, move the ball, and knock down some shots."

Three other Pacers players joined Oladipo in double figures in the win. Turner tallied 19 points, seven rebounds, and two blocks. Young recorded a double-double with 13 points and 14 rebounds. And Bogdanovic chipped in 13 points, four boards, and three assists.

Irving led Boston with 21 points and eight assists. Jaylen Brown added 16 points, while rookie forward Jayson Tatum had 15.

The Pacers have two games remaining before the All-Star break. They host the New York Knicks on Sunday night, then travel to Brooklyn to take on the Nets on Wednesday.

Inside the Numbers

Young recorded his fourth double-double of the season, while Oladipo picked up his second on Friday.

After scoring 59 points on 53.5 percent shooting (23-for-43) in the first half, the Pacers managed just 38 points on 35 percent shooting (14-for-40) over the final two quarters.

Boston, on the other hand, made just 14-of-48 shots (29.2 percent) in the first half, but went 20-for-41 (48.8 percent) after halftime.

Indiana outrebounded the Celtics 53-38 on Friday, snapping an 11-game streak in which the Blue & Gold lost the battle of the boards. The Pacers are 15-5 on the season when they outrebound their opponents.

The Blue & Gold won despite managing just 17 bench points, only four more than their season low (set at Portland on Jan. 18).

You Can Quote Me On That

"I thought we did a great job with just trying to calm down especially when (the Celtics) took the lead. We did a great job of getting stops down the stretch. They are a really great team." -Oladipo

"Victor was good. But it was a team effort. A lot of guys did some good things tonight. Cory etting that rebound and tipping that ball out was big. Thaddeus stepping up and knocking down free throws. Myles knocked down a big shot. This was a team effort tonight." -McMillan

"Limit his touches. He's a great player. Just not let him get to the goal. Initially it started with me, then the team helped me out with pick and rolls, and Myles was up, Thad (did a good job, Sabonis...everyone did a good job at being up and containing my pick and rolls and keeping up the hustle." -Joseph on defending Irving

"I thought we started the game really going through the motions, and I thought they started the game really playing with great force and purpose. And I just thought we - we did a better job of that in the third quarter. There wasn't anything tactically to change, because there was nothing tactically to talk about at halftime. I thought that their force, their purpose, their aggressiveness, their speed was an issue." -Boston head coach Brad Stevens

"They were just a lot fresher down the stretch, and making plays, and Victor Oladipo just getting downhill and making some tough shots and some pull-ups as well...But we had no chance of being there-like, we had no reason being in that game anyway. We fought back, we battled back, but they came out and just really hit us in the mouth in the first half." -Irving

Stat of the Night

Oladipo topped 30 points for the ninth time this season on Friday. He scored 30+ points a total of nine times over his first four NBA seasons.

Noteworthy

  • The Pacers snapped a five-game losing streak against the Celtics on Friday, including losses to Boston at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Nov. 25 and Dec. 18.
  • Indiana and Boston will meet once more at TD Garden on March 11.
  • Pacers point guard Darren Collison missed his second straight game after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his left knee on Tuesday.
  • Pacers rookie forward TJ Leaf did not play on Friday due to a sore left calf.

Tickets

The Pacers return home on Sunday, Feb. 11 to host Tim Hardaway Jr. and the New York Knicks at 5:00 PM ET in a Hickory Night game. Legendary coach Tony Hinkle is the night's Hickory honoree and will be remembered in a special halftime ceremony. Find Tickets »