Jeff Green caps Celtics’ rally vs. Pacers
by Curt Cavin, USA TODAY Sports
INDIANAPOLIS — If this is playoff basketball, bring it on.
The Indiana Pacers and Boston Celtics, who entered Wednesday’s game aligned for a first-round postseason matchup, set the stage for what could be an intriguing series next month.
There was drama aplenty, including hard fouls, double technicals, big shots and solid defense.
The Celtics won 83-81 by scoring the game’s final 11 points at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
The winning play came on Jeff Green’s backdoor cut to the basket. Kevin Garnett found him as the Pacers got hung up in a double team on Paul Pierce.
The score came with 0.5 seconds left.
Pierce was held to 13 points, five off his average, but he made the key final defensive play, shielding Paul George from the ball on a last-second lob from George Hill.
Pacers coach Frank Vogel wanted a foul on Pierce for clearing out.
The Pacers fell to 38-23. They lost the series’ only other game 94-75 in Boston on Jan. 4. They meet again April 16.
Garnett finished with 18 for Boston, which improved to 33-27.
The visit was the Celtics’ only one to Indianapolis during the regular season.
George led the Pacers with 16 points, Hill 14.
Pierce was frustrated most of the game offensively, and it took George getting hung up on a screen at the top of the key for the Celtics star to get his first field goal. That shot came just a tick of a second ahead of the horn to end the first half. George had three steals and 10 points at that point.
Cavin writes for The Indianapolis Star, a Gannett property.