NBA Game Summary - Boston at Indiana
(Saturday, April 7th)
Final Score: Boston 86, Indiana 72
Indianapolis, IN (Sports Network) - Paul Pierce scored 24 points and the Boston Celtics cruised to an 86-72 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Saturday.
Ray Allen came off the bench and netted 19 points, while Kevin Garnett registered 15 points and seven rebounds for Boston, which snapped a two-game skid with their sixth win in eight tries.
The Celtics put some distance between themselves and the 76ers for the top spot in the Atlantic Division. Philadelphia, which entered the day one game back, fell to Orlando later Saturday. The Sixers will visit TD Garden on Sunday.
Danny Granger led the Pacers with 20 points and David West connected on 8- of-10 from the field en route to 16 points for Indiana, which saw a four-game winning streak end in the finale of a back-to-back series.
"They played terrific defense, had good ball movement and shots that dropped. I couldn't look over my shoulder or do any of the things that I normally do," said the Pacers' Paul George, who finished with two points.
Allen hit a jump hook shot to spur a 9-4 rally to end the first quarter. The run gave Boston a 24-19 lead they did not relinquish, but it was the 12-0 spurt to open the second quarter that made a statement.
Avery Bradley opened the scoring in the second with a reverse layup. Allen followed with a jumper and a 23-foot trey, Sasha Pavlovic then netted his own triple, and Greg Stiemsma capped it off with a pair of free-throws.
Indiana did score 12 of the half's final 17 points, but still trailed 43-33 at halftime.
The Celtics led by double-digits for most of the game from that point. Tyler Hansbrough made it a seven-point game early in the fourth on a pair from the charity stripe, but Garnett knocked down a turnaround jumper and his own pair from the line to quell the threat.
"I loved how competitive we were," said Celtics coach Doc Rivers. "In a game where shots are not going in and we still won the game, that means you can trust your defense on nights your offense doesn't work."
Boston's Rajon Rondo was issued a flagrant-1 foul at the 2:56 mark of the second quarter...Indiana held a 45-44 edge on the boards...The Celtics' largest lead was 17.
04/07 23:21:09 ET