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Recap: Pacers 94, Celtics 83

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On Tuesday evening, the Boston Celtics tried to avoid their first season sweep at the hands of the Indiana Pacers since 1998-99.

Pre-Game Quote Of The Night: “People who’ve wanted him traded – those great, astute people … They oughta keep their mouths shut!”

Tommy Heinsohn on the Rajon Rondo passing Bill Russell for the fifth-most assists in franchise history

(CelticsHub’s take: You tell ‘em, Tommy!)

Synopsis:

First Quarter: Kris Humphries scored eight points on 3-of-4 shooting, but the rest of the Celtics had 12 points and shot just 28 percent. The biggest culprit: Jeff Green who was 0-for-5. We also had an Andrew Bynum sighting: in his first appearance in a game since December, he sure made an impact as he went for a game-high 10 rebounds.

Second Quarter: Luis Scola quietly dominated the quarter with game-highs in points (nine) and rebounds (five). Chris Johnson made two 3-pointers en route to matching his career-high with 14 points on the night. Kelly Olynyk, who (of course) had foul troubles of his own, took his first of two charges on Paul George. That a boy, Kelly!

Third Quarter: The Pacers extended the lead to 15 points, but the Celtics battled back. Green had a very nice reverse and-one lay-up to help the Celtics back into the game.

Fourth Quarter: Including the end of the third quarter, the Celtics ran off a 9-0 run, which led to a Frank Vogel timeout. Boston got the game to 77-76, but that was the closest the C’s would get. David West’s jumper pushed the Pacers’ lead to three points, and they then made it a two-possession game the rest of the way.

Highlight:

Another Rondo highlight: beautiful pass for the bucket (Credit: @MrTrpleDouble10)

Share photos on twitter with Twitpic

MVP: Humphries and Jared Sullinger both missed double-doubles by one rebound each. They combined for 32 points on 14-of-27 shooting on a night that the Celtics shot 35 percent from the field. The bigs continue to look good for the C’s as they face strong frontcourt lineups.

LVP: The first halves from Green and Rondo were quite ugly. They combined for just seven points on 3-of-15 shooting in the first 24 minutes of the night. Between the two of them, they had only two rebounds and three assists as well.

Takeaways: Rondo, who is not expected to play Wednesday, shook off a frustrating first half and was the only player to play the entire second half in this game. He dished off half of his assists in the fourth quarter. In addition, Rondo showed off another Maravich ball fake and completed the lay-up in the final frame. Although the point guard is not ready for SEGABABAs yet, I am excited to see him for the remaining one-fourth of the season. The league’s best defense could not keep him quiet in crunch time.

Brad Stevens going to Chris Babb with 2:22 remaining was magnified when he rebounded Roy Hibbert’s missed jumper: Babb, who was hoping to outlet to Rondo, proceeded to double-dribble as he was guarded in the backcourt. The rookie mistake came with 1:57 left in the contest when it was seven-point game. After West pushed the Pacers’ lead to nine, Babb was subbed out at the next whistle.

The last time the Celtics won on the first night of a back-to-back, Bynum started for the Cleveland Cavaliers. Yeah, it was a long time ago.

For more Celtics coverage and statistics, follow CelticsHub and Adam Lowenstein on Twitter: @CelticsHub and @StatsAdam

  • PACING OURSELVES

    Brad’s hometown, against the Pacers tonight.
    Hump opened the game doing everything right.
    The Pacers got off to a very slow start,
    I like to think the Cs (Hump) played with heart!

    Two early fouls on George, Rondo took a hard charge,
    A Bynum sighting–he has skill and he is large!
    Matching early fouls on Bass, again setting that screen.
    Bynum’s productive. Cs need plays set for Green.

    Cs within 2 to start Q2,
    Bynum’s changed the game–like he used to do.
    Babb gives his all every time he does play,
    He wants to earn more than a second ten day.

    After a brief shooting slump, JOHNSON FOR THREE!
    You can tell he’s excited just to be a C!
    JOHNSON FOR THREE! Scola is having a game,
    So is Turner, off the bench since he came.

    Tough half for Green, finally went hard to the hoop.
    Not the usual stars for the Indiana group.
    Little from Green, Rondo–Cs within 9 start Q3.
    Green still struggling, go to the hoop should he!

    George, Stephenson invisible, Pacers showing little heart,
    Keeping their lead because of the guys who do not start.
    West is tonight’s Pacer, so many shots he is open,
    Celtics’ Defense? They’re doing lots of hopin’.

    Stephenson, mostly George, mid-Q3 came to life,
    Cs still dealing with widespread shooting strife.
    At my TV every Cs game I shout:
    PLEASE, JEFF GREEN–it’s time to bust out!

    Double team Bynum, a play big guys are not fond o’–
    Good job forcing turnovers, Green and Rondo!
    Great second chance points, Cs within 8 start Q4,
    Offensive fouls on the Pacers, throwing Cs to the floor.

    SULLY FOR THREE! Green spoke in the huddle about D,
    Some vintage Rondo we are excited to see!
    Cs keep getting within one, Pacers have that pest,
    The one who didn’t choose Boston–David West.

    Bynum double double in his first game in years,
    His lack isn’t skill, it’s been between his ears.
    Stephenson showed up, under three minutes to go.
    Sully offensive rebounds his stat line will show!

    Babb crucial double dribble, you could tell he felt “babb,”
    Especially when Sully a 50-50 ball did grab.
    After dropping four in a row, Pacers play was flat,
    Neither the crowd nor management is happy with that.

    These Cs don’t quit, by 11 we did not win,
    Mostly ’cause the ball just wouldn’t stay in!

    • I enjoy these immoderately, and I’m VERY glad to see they are surviving a down year. Applause, as always.

      • And a tough season it has been–but not without hope!

  • skeeds

    the few times I get to watch the Pacers I always end up thinking “man I wish they win the championship”. I’m not really a Lebron hater, I don’t mind him 3-peating, I don’t wish the Pacers win just so that the Heat don’t.
    It’s just that I honestly think that the way the Pacers play is a step forward in basketball culture. As was the Mavs in 2011, the C’s in 08 and the Spurs for 20 years now. Team ball. Balance of talent. defined roles, precision, complexity. And there’s really no better example than Indiana this year. We’re talking about a team who’s 8th best player is Scola. That’s just stupid.

    • hax

      Also a team built the right way. Smart drafting, free agency, etc.
      Not just ‘maniupulate 3 guys who can’t win on their own into making a super team’.