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                === Celtics step up defensively, down Pacers ===
 
 Boston,  MA  (Sports Network) -  The Boston  Celtics snapped their recent skid
 with the aid of their struggling defense.
 
 Rajon Rondo tallied  18 points and seven assists, while Kevin Garnett added 18
 points and seven boards in Boston's 94-75 rout of the Indiana Pacers.
 
 "Doc's (Rivers) been saying that throughout this tough ordeal  that we have to
 continue  to play  defense no matter what we're doing. Offense can not dictate
 defense. I feel like for the most part we did just that," Garnett said.
 
 Over  their four-game slide, the Celtics had been outscored by 19.7 points per
 game  and  allowed their  opponents to  register 104.5  points a contest while
 only holding them to a 50.5 percent clip from the floor.
 
 It was a different story for the defense in this one.
 
 Indiana,  which  had won 9-of-11 coming  in, shot just 31.8 percent (27-of-85)
 from  the field.  David West and Paul  George shot a combined 8-of-36 from the
 floor.
 
 Tyler Hansbrough led the Pacers with 19 points.
 
 "I  give all the credit to Boston, they played a great defensive game tonight,
 they've  got championship  level people  over  there with  great pride,"  said
 Pacers coach Frank Vogel. "They've been in a slump and they've bounced back."
 
 Neither  team led by more than four until the Celtics used a 17-3 run to seize
 control of the contest during the middle stages of the second frame.
 
 A  Pierce layup gave  the hosts a 25-20 edge with 7:53 to play until halftime.
 Pierce later converted a four-point play and Rondo's pull-up jumper capped the
 burst and made it 36-23 in favor of the Celtics with 5:13 left.
 
 Boston  took  a 47-35 cushion into  the break and led  by as many as 20 in the
 third before taking a 69-51 spread into the fourth.
 
 The margin peaked at 24 in the final period.
 
                                   Game Notes
 
 The  Pacers turned the  ball over 19 times, which led to 17 Celtics points ...
 Garnett  was  ejected in  the fourth  quarter for  a flagrant  type 2 foul ...
 Indiana led 16-15 after a period of play.
 
 
 
 
 01/05 01:02:52 ET

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