Less than 24 hours after the Celtics beat the 76ers on the road, Boston would face a true test against a potential playoff opponent in the Indiana Pacers. Boston would be in for a dog fight against the Pacers Wednesday evening.
Despite not having Danny Granger for most of the season the Pacers have held serve as the clear cut second best team in the eastern conference behind the streaking Heat. Paul George has emerged as one of the sports rising stars in Granger's absence this season, having career highs in production and making his first all-star game in the process. Then you have Roy Hibbert. The former all-star center is averaging career lows in scoring; however is still the best pure center in the eastern conference. Boston knew they were going to face a test against this Pacers team, which could be a preview of a potential playoff matchup. One the second night of a road back to back, the Celtics were ready to go earn a victory.
In the first three quarters of the game it was all Pacers. Indiana led the Celtics 68-58 going into the 4th quarter. On the second half of a road back to back, the Celtics looked to be in trouble against
this eastern conference foe. Boston would respond by going on an 11-0 run to close the game. The Celtics had the ball late tied at 81 when coach Doc Rivers took a time out. He drew up a play to hit a cutting Jeff Green instead of drawing up a play for Garnett or Pierce. They play worked to perfection. Jeff Green hit a layup as time expired to give the Celtics the 83-81 victory of Indiana. Boston's bench did very well in the victory outscoring the Pacer's reserves 29-16. Jeff Green had 11 points including his game winner, and Jason Terry chipped in with 10. As good as Indiana has been, they have not fared well in close games. The Pacers are now only 3-8 in game decided by three points or less. Roy Hibbert led off the game with 12 points in the first quarter; however the former all-star center failed to register a point in the final three quarters. The Celtics take their current four game winning streak back to the TD Garden on Friday for a matchup against the Atlanta Hawks. Then on Sunday the Celtics face a true test when they travel to Oklahoma City to take on Kevin Durant and the high powered Thunder on ABC.
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