National Basketball Association
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                     === Pacers welcome Celtics to town ===
 (  - The  Indiana Pacers appear to have things back on track
 and  will  try for  a second  straight win  Sunday evening  when they host the
 Boston Celtics.
 The  Pacers endured  their first losing streak of the season, a two-game slide
 that  culminated with their  97-94 setback to the Miami Heat in South Beach on
 On  Friday, the  Pacers had six scorers  in double figures in a 114-81 rout of
 the Houston Rockets at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
 "This  team doesn't like losing, and we lost two in a row," Indiana head coach
 Frank  Vogel  said of his  team's attitude  coming off consecutive losses. "We
 talked about playing mad for four quarters."
 Former  All-Star Danny  Granger made  his season  debut for  the Pacers  after
 missing the first 25 games with a strained left calf and all but five games of
 last season thanks to a knee injury. He finished with five points in just over
 22 minutes.
 "Obviously,  what  I've been going through  the last two years has been hard,"
 Granger said. "It's always good to have the support of Indiana."
 Paul  George led Indiana with 24 points and grabbed a team-high nine rebounds.
 Lance  Stephenson  supplied 16 points, six  boards and six assists, Luis Scola
 scored 13 points and David West and George Hill each netted 12 for the Pacers.
 Ian Mahinmi chipped in 10 off the bench.
 Sunday's  tilt is  a battle of division  leaders with the Pacers on top in the
 Central  and  the C's  in front in  the Atlantic. Granted,  there is a 10-game
 difference between the two in the standings in the Eastern Conference.
 Boston has dropped two in a row to end a five-game homestand at 2-3.
 For  the second  straight game the Celtics  lit up the scoreboard in the first
 quarter, shooting 12-of-20 (60 percent) from the field as they jumped out to a
 30-14 lead.
 But like Wednesday's game against the Pistons, when they blew a 21-point lead,
 the  Celtics let  the Wizards  inch back  in it.  A Jeff  Green layup  had the
 Celtics  on top,  92-84, with 6:14 remaining, but the Wizards answered with 14
 of the next 15 points.
 Washington  won 106-99  as the  Wizards scored  62 points  over the  final two
 "They played a great game. Finished it off strong, made plays, and we didn't,"
 Boston guard Jordan Crawford said.
 Avery  Bradley led  the way  for Boston  with 26  points. Jared  Sullinger and
 Brandon Bass both registered double-doubles as Sullinger totaled 22 points and
 11 rebounds while Bass added 11 and 11 in the loss.
 Green finished with 13 and Crawford chipped in 11.
 The  Pacers  beat the Celtics by  15 on Nov. 22  in Boston. That win snapped a
 four-game  series losing streak for Indiana, but the C's are 6-4 in their last
 10 in Indianapolis.
 12/22 10:12:12 ET