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The Celtics capped an 11-0 run to end the game on a beautifully executed Doc Rivers play and left Indianapolis victorious, beating the Pacers 83-81.
Jeff Green handed the ball off to Kevin Garnett at the top of the key and slipped past a posted-up Paul Pierce for the screen on David West to find himself open under the hoop. Green laid the ball in the basket to give the Celtics a two point lead with under a second left.
Green finished with 11 points, seven rebounds, and four assists. Garnett led the team in scoring and rebounding, with 18 and 10 respectively. Pierce hit a huge three that set up Avery Bradley’s game tying lay-up, and both players finished 14 points a piece.
Roy Hibbert led the Pacers with 12 points and 12 rebounds, but did not score in the second half as his teammates elected to settle for jump shots. The Celtics cut the Pacers lead to one with six minutes to play, but George Hill rattled off 8 points in a row on his way to 14 on the game.
A Paul George three out of a Celtics timeout with 4:35 remaining would be the last point the Pacers scored. The Pacers threw it in George’s direction as time expired, but Pierce got between him and the ball. George finished with 16 points and seven rebounds.
The Celtics led 13-11 midway through the first quarter, and would not lead again until the game’s final second. The Celtics trailed at the end of each of the first three quarters, with their deficit ballooning to 14 early in the fourth.
If the NBA playoffs started today, the Celtics and Pacers would meet in the first round. This will be called a ‘statement’ game for the Celtics, as they beat the Pacers on their home-court on the second night of a back-to-back. The Celtics are now 2-0 against the Pacers this season.
The Celtics go for a fifth straight win when the host the Atlanta Hawks on Friday in Boston with playoff seeding implications on the line.