Rapid Reaction: Pacers 97, Celtics 82
BOSTON -- Here's a look at how the Indiana Pacers defeated the Boston Celtics 97-82 Friday night at TD Garden:
As well as the Celtics played for the first two quarters (building an eight-point halftime advantage), they were twice as atrocious over the final two frames as Indiana made this a laugher. The Celtics couldn't stop turning the ball over (21 giveaways for 30 points overall) as the Pacers cranked up their defensive intensity and ran away with the game after the intermission. Paul George scored a game-high 27 points on 9-of-20 shooting, while Lance Stephenson quietly posted a triple-double (10 points, 11 rebounds, 10 assists) to lead the Pacers. Boston got a team-high 24 points from Jordan Crawford, who did most of his damage before the intermission by hitting his first eight shots. Jeff Green added 20 points for Boston.
The Celtics played a stellar first half, but everything fell apart in the third quarter. Indiana cranked up the pressure and Boston gave the ball away 11 times (leading to 13 points) in the frame. The Celtics were 3-of-14 shooting for a mere eight points and Crawford, who couldn't miss in the first two frames, missed twice in the quarter (and was minus-17 during his 11 minutes of floor time in the frame). The Pacers outscored Boston 25-8 and owned a nine-point lead heading to the final frame (where they pushed that lead as high as 20).
Rookie forward/center Kelly Olynyk departed in the second quarter with a sprained right ankle and did not return. ... Keith Bogans (illness) did not dress for Boston. ... The Celtics had a measly 11 assists overall.
WHAT IT MEANS
The Celtics (4-10) now have lost six straight and head right back out on the road as part of this stretch that features five games in five cities over seven nights. They play the tail end of a back-to-back Saturday in Atlanta before visiting Charlotte on Monday. Boston is home for Thanksgiving with visits from Memphis and Cleveland sandwiched around the holiday.
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