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NBA Game Summary - Indiana at Boston

(Tuesday, December 22nd)

Final Score: Boston 103, Indiana 94

Boston, MA (Sports Network) - Ray Allen scored 23 points, 15 of those coming in second half, to help Boston beat Indiana 103-94 in the finale of a three- game homestand.

Allen was 9-for-9 at the line and added seven rebounds while Paul Pierce totaled 21 points and sank 12-of-13 from the stripe for the Celtics, who play their next four games on the road -- starting Christmas day in Orlando.

"We missed a lot of shots early, and they got the ball out and they ran, and we weren't getting back on defense," Allen said. "They created mismatches and they were getting threes with us out of position. So second half, we just got back, we forced their offense to operate against our halfcourt defense."

Rajon Rondo accumulated 15 points, nine assists and six steals to help run Boston's Eastern Conference-leading mark to 22-5.

Boston's frontcourt was thin with Kevin Garnett given the night off to "strategically rest" a right thigh bruise. Rasheed Wallace got the start for Garnett and grabbed 13 rebounds with nine points and Kendrick Perkins scored 19 with eight boards in the win, the C's 13th in 14 tries.

Boston shot just 38 percent (30-of-79) from the field but made 37-of-40 at the line to help avenge a sound 113-104 beating at the hands of Indiana back on November 14 at Conseco Fieldhouse.

Troy Murphy posted game-highs of 24 points and 18 rebounds for Indiana, which is winless in its last four games. Earl Watson checked in with 18 points, seven boards and six assists and Brandon Rush scored 15 in the loss.

Boston overcame a 12-point deficit in the third quarter to enter the final frame tied at 77 and two free throws from Allen provided an 86-81 edge about 4 1/2 minutes in.

Murphy answered with a jumper and knocked down a three to tie the game before Pierce scored the next seven points. Murphy's bucket with 2:26 to go had the Pacers within 93-90 but Allen came back with a jumper and Pierce added the next four points to move in front 99-90 just inside a minute remaining.

A 4-for-4 showing at the line from there helped preserve the win for Boston.

"It's tough, it's a problem we had last year, right now we're dealing with the same problem," Pacers guard T.J. Ford said. "We're playing good for three quarters, then for a 12-minute span we're not doing the things necessary to win a ballgame. We're having trouble when we're getting the lead and being able to keep it."

The Pacers started strong and owned a 28-21 edge after the opening frame and scored six of the first eight points in the next period to gain an 11-point lead on Luther Head's layup.

Eddie House poured in five points on the other end for Boston but the visitors maintained their advantage after a Rush three-ball with 8:30 to go.

A pair of jumpers from Tony Allen and House kicked off an ensuing 10-2 Celtics stretch for a three-point game approaching the midway point. But an 11-2 burst by the Pacers followed and they took a 57-42 advantage into the break.

Indiana was still in front four minutes into the third, and held a 12-point lead after Murphy had back-to-back field goals drop for a 66-54 difference.

Boston battled back behind nine points from Ray Allen to go in front 67-66 with under five minutes left and the third quarter ended with teams knotted at 77 each.

Game Notes

Indiana owns a 3-11 record away from Conseco Fieldhouse this season and remains without leading scorer Danny Granger, who is out indefinitely with a torn right plantar fascia. Indiana is 3-6 since Granger's injury...The Celtics are 10-4 at home...The Pacers have dropped four in a row and 12 of their last 16 trips to Beantown...House scored 10 for Boston, while Dahntay Jones notched eight points and as many assists for Indiana.

12/23 03:11:01 ET

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