Paul George led the Pacers to an important victory over the Celtics in a close game tonight at the Bankers’ Life Fieldhouse, Indiana, with assistance from Monta Ellis. The Pacers stepped up their game in the final quarter as pulled away final to register a win. They are now 36-31 and occupy the 7th place of the Eastern Conference, a game and a half behind the Hornets. The Celtics meanwhile have now lost two games on the trot, lost their advantage over the Heat and are 39-28, tied for the 3rd place of the Eastern Conference with the Heat.
Paul George led the way for the Pacers as he recorded 25 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists and 4 steals. Monta Ellis played a great supporting role as he ended the game with 16 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists and 2 steals. Jordan Hill came off the bench to add 15 points, 3 rebounds and a block. Ian Mahinmi had 13 points and 6 rebounds. George Hill ended the game with 10 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists.
Isaiah Thomas once again led the scoring for the Celtics with 21 points to go with 6 rebounds, 8 assists and 2 steals. Jonas Jerebeko added 17 points and 3 rebounds off the bench. Jared Sullinger posted another double double with 15 points and 11 rebounds along with 3 assists and 2 steals. Marcus Smart, who started the game today ended up with 12 points, 4 rebounds and 2 assists. Avery Bradley had 10 points, 3 rebounds and 2 assist. Amir Johnson ended up with 8 points and 9 rebounds. The Celtics shoot a poor 38.3% of their shoots compared to the Pacers’ 46.4%. They also made only 25% of their shots from behind the arc. The Pacers made 45.5% of their 3 pointer attempts.
The Celtics made a great start to the quarter as they went on a 7-0 and a 7-2 run to establish a 7 point lead with 3 minutes left in the quarter. But they did not make any more baskets as the Pacers ended the quarter with a 7-0 run to end the quarter 20-20. The Pacers also started off the second quarter strongly as they made a 4-0 run and this proved to be the difference as they took the quarter, 23-19. The Celtics made a 17-9 run in the third quarter as the closed down the 4 point deficit and took a 4 point lead. The Pacers once again made a great 10-5 run to take the lead once again as they finished another quarter on a strong note. The Celtics took the third 31-28 and went into the final quarter trailing 70-71. Five minutes into the final quarter, the score was tied at 77-77. The Pacers then sealed the win with a game changing 15-4 run to take a 10 point lead with 2 minutes to go. That included a 7-0 run as the Celtics looked to cut down the deficit at 84-81. Paul George closed this run with a 25 foot 3 pointer. The Pacers saw out the game, 103-98.
Next up for the Pacers are the Raptors at home on Thursday. The Celtics meanwhile will have another tough game as they play the Thunder at home tomorrow.