NBA Game Summary - Boston at Indiana
(Saturday, November 1st)
Final Score: Indiana 95, Boston 79
Indianapolis, IN (Sports Network) - Danny Granger scored 20 points and lost two teeth, and the Indiana Pacers handed the defending champion Boston Celtics their first loss of the season, 95-79, at Conseco Fieldhouse.
Granger, who was not wearing a mouth guard, had his front two teeth knocked out while battling Celtics forward Paul Pierce for a loose ball in the fourth quarter. Despite the injury, the forward stayed in the game for the Pacers, who were coming off a road defeat to the Detroit Pistons.
"It was a hell of a hustle play," Pacers head coach Jim O'Brien said about Granger. "I went to congratulate him and he smiled at me and I saw what happened. It's ironic that's a play made by a guy who just signed a long term deal and wants to help us get back in the playoffs."
T.J. Ford added 19 points, and Marquis Daniels scored 13 points and grabbed 10 rebounds Indiana's home-opening victory.
"A great victory for the Indiana Pacers," O'Brien said. "Our guys competed at the very highest level against a very good basketball team. We were very active defensively. I was very happy with that phase of the game."
Kevin Garnett had a team-high 18 points and 14 rebounds for the Celtics, who had won their first two games of the season at home. Pierce added 15 points and 10 rebounds, but Boston shot a dismal 34.6 percent from the field in defeat.
"We didn't play well, but Indiana did what they had to," Pierce said. "Give them a lot of credit. They executed, made their run, and we didn't match their energy. They played really well."
Tony Allen scored 14, and Ray Allen had 10 points for the Celtics.
"They were ready to go from the start. They had fresh legs, clearly," Celtics head coach Doc Rivers said. "They just played much harder than us. We were bad all game and didn't deserve to win that game."
Indiana took a 48-41 lead into the break, and the Pacers jumped out to a 12-4 run to start the second half, as Rasho Nesterovic contributed six points in the early stages of the third. Boston couldn't seem to get its offensive game going, and the defending champs went into the final frame down 69-58.
Indiana opened up the final frame on a 18-7 burst, as Daniels' layup gave the Pacers an commanding 87-65 advantage. The team coasted from there, as Boston didn't climb any closer than 13 the rest of the game.
Tied at 13 five minutes into the game after a couple Pierce free throws, Indiana went on a 14-4 run to finish out the frame, highlighted by Granger's six points during the run. Granger scored 11 points in the first quarter, as the Pacers held a 27-17 advantage after the opening period.
The Celtics used a 5-0 burst late in the second to climb to within 41-38, but Ford was able to make four free throws and Daniels hit a shot at the buzzer to account for the seven-point halftime lead.
Boston swept the season series in 2007-08, 3-0...Nesterovic left the game in the fourth quarter after spraining his ankle and did not return. He had eight points and four rebounds in just under 20 minutes of action...Indiana shot 40.7 percent from the field...Boston shot just 4-for-20 from three-point range, while the Pacers hit on only 6-of-22 attempts from long distance.
11/01 23:52:10 ET