Rapid Reaction: Pacers 102, Celts 97
March, 1, 2014
By Chris Forsberg | ESPNBoston.com
BOSTON -- Rapid reaction after the Indiana Pacers defeated the Boston Celtics 102-97 on Saturday night at TD Garden:
THE NITTY GRITTY
Paul George took over late in the fourth quarter and finished with 25 points while adding eight rebounds, three assists and three steals. Even in a different uniform, Evan Turner continued to torment the Celtics by scoring 17 points on 8-of-14 shooting off the Indiana bench. Lance Stephenson added 16 points, nine rebounds and six assists while finishing a team-best plus-12 in plus/minus. Jeff Green scored a game-high 27 points on 10-of-22 shooting, while Kris Humphries added 18 points and 10 rebounds. Rajon Rondo had 12 points behind three 3-pointers, but it was one that was overturned on video review late in the game that hurt Boston's chances of emerging with the win.
The Celtics and Pacers were tied at 90 when Rondo appeared to bank in a late-clock 3-pointer with 4:37 to go. It wasn't until the next stoppage in play -- with 2:38 remaining -- that video review negated the triple and put the Pacers out front 94-90. George accounted for eight of Indiana's final 10 points, including a 3-pointer with 1:16 to play after Boston had rallied within two, and that was enough to fend off the Celtics.
The Pacers shot 50.6 percent overall (39-of-77) and turned the ball over only nine times. ... Boston actually won the battle on the glass, outrebounding Indiana, 41-38 overall. ... Rondo and Roy Hibbert earned double technicals in the final minutes of the second quarter. It was Rondo's first technical of the season. ... Rondo was in a particularly feisty mood Saturday, eavesdropping on Indiana's huddle at one point and breaking up a Pacers high-five attempt. ... Chris Babb made his NBA debut but played just 1:38 in the first half.
WHAT IT MEANS
The Celtics (20-40) gave a valiant fight against the team with the best record in basketball but will emerge owning the fourth-worst record in the NBA. Boston has lost six of its past seven overall. The Celtics will get a three-day break -- something an injury-ravaged squad desperately needs -- and resume this five-game homestand on Wednesday with a visit from the Golden State Warriors.