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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