Final

Regular Season Series (Game 3 of 4)

Series starts 12/14

Game 1: Wednesday, December 14th
Pacers71Final
Celtics85
Game 2: Friday, March 3rd
Pacers98Final
Celtics99
Game 3: Sunday, March 19th
Celtics103Final
Pacers88
Game 4: Wednesday, April 12th
Celtics112Final
Pacers117

Celtics 103

(28-39, 9-25 away)

Pacers 88

(33-31, 20-12 home)

    3:30 PM ET, March 19, 2006

    Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN

    1 2 3 4 T
    BOS 24 29 19 31103
    IND 36 17 18 1788

    Top Performers

    Bos: D. West 16 Pts, 2 Reb, 5 Ast, 3 Stl, 1 Blk

    Ind: P. Stojakovic 16 Pts, 6 Reb, 3 Ast

    Celtics overcome cold start, sweep series with Pacers

    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Tony Allen and the rest of the Boston Celtics' backups found their range just when the Indiana Pacers lost theirs.

    Paul Pierce scored 22 points, and Allen had 11 of his season-high 14 in the fourth quarter to help the Celtics to a 103-88 victory Sunday and a three-game sweep of the season series with the Pacers.

    Indiana shot 67 percent and led by 14 points in the opening period, but the Pacers shot only 28 percent over the final three periods.

    "We were just trying to play through it," Allen said. "I was going to do whatever I could, no matter what. When I'm out there playing I have to give my all.

    "The second unit, we were all talking on the bench, just saying we need to go in there and bring some energy."

    Al Jefferson added eight points and five rebounds in a reserve role for Boston, and Kendrick Perkins had seven points, five rebounds and three blocked shots. Overall, the Celtics reserves outscored the Pacers bench 31-20.

    "That was the difference in the game," Pierce said. "They gave the starters a cushion at the start of the fourth quarter. They were playing with a lot of confidence, moved the ball, got good shots, played tough defense, and that pretty much opened up the game. So the starters got back in and put it away."

    Boston trailed by 12 after one quarter, but Pierce and rookie Ryan Gomes had seven points each in the second period and the Celtics tied it at 53 at the half.

    A free throw by Indiana's Stephen Jackson tied the game for the last time at 72 early in the fourth quarter, but Allen had seven points, including two free throws after a flagrant foul on Jamaal Tinsley, as Boston built its lead to 81-72 in the next 3 minutes. The final score matched the Celtics' biggest lead of the game.

    "Some of our guys were a little winded, a little tired," said Celtics assistant Tony Brown, subbing for coach Doc Rivers, whose father-in-law died over the weekend. "I want to commend our bench. Most of them are all young guys, who came in and gave us a big lift. ... They gave our starters a chance to sit on the bench, get some extra minutes of rest and finish off the game.

    "Tony Allen was the key guy in that group. He was aggressive, he was attacking and played great defense down the stretch," Brown said.

    Wally Szczerbiak and Delonte West added 16 points each for the Celtics. Peja Stojakovic led Indiana with 16 points, and rookie Danny Granger added 14.

    The Pacers hit 11 of their first 12 shots and took a 24-13 lead in the first 6 minutes. A basket by Szczerbiak and three by West cut the lead to five, but Indiana continued its hot early shooting and took its biggest lead at 36-22 on a 3-pointer by Tinsley.

    The Pacers still led by 12 after a 3-pointer by Stojakovic early in the second period before their shooting cooled for good.

    "The key part of the game was the end of the second quarter," Indiana coach Rick Carlisle said. "They did a great job finishing plays and giving themselves a chance to win. ... We couldn't get over the hump."

    A basket by Pierce, two free throws by Gomes and a 3-pointer by Pierce brought Boston to 53-51. Then, after a miss by Indiana's Anthony Johnson, Gomes was fouled on a fast break and hit two more free throws with 0.3 seconds left to tie it at the break.

    Another basket by Pierce at the start of the third quarter gave Boston its first lead of the game. Minutes later, a dunk by Pierce pushed the Celtics' lead to 61-55, completing a 17-2 run spanning the second and third periods.

    "We had a great start, but we didn't keep it up," Granger said. "We've got to be more consistent. ... I don't know exactly what the answer is."

    Game notes


    The Celtics dedicated the win to Rivers. "We're going to give this one to Doc, even though he's not here with us. We know he's going through some tough times right now, but from the coaching staff to the players, we want to send this out for him," Brown said. ... Pacers forward Austin Croshere did not play, the 20th game he's missed in the past 21 games, and will be out indefinitely because of a concussion he suffered Jan. 31. ... Indiana's 36 points in the first quarter were two off its season high against Seattle in January. ... Boston has won four straight against Indiana over two seasons, its longest streak against the Pacers since it won six straight in 1987 and 1988. ... The Celtics finished 1-3 on a four-game trip.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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    Team Stat Comparison

     
    BOS
    IND
    Points 103 88
    FGM-FGA 39-73 (.534) 32-81 (.395)
    3PM-3PA 3-8 (.375) 5-19 (.263)
    FTM-FTA 22-30 (.733) 19-28 (.679)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 5-37 15-42
    Assists 18 21
    Turnovers 12 12
    Steals 9 6
    Blocks 6 3
    Fast Break Points 14 5
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 23 (1/0) 19 (1/1)
    Largest Lead 15 14

    Top Performers

    Boston
    Indiana
    Delonte West West
    Points: 16
    Reb: 2
    Ast: 5
    Stl: 3
    Blk: 1
    Peja Stojakovic Stojakovic
    Points: 16
    Reb: 6
    Ast: 3
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 0