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article imageNBA: Celtics take East lead back with 92-80 win over Pacers

By Kristofor Molson     Mar 17, 2011 in Sports
Boston - Boston lost the East lead a couple of days ago, but tied it back up with a big win over the Pacers. The Pacers were on a nice little roll after the coaching change but have been struggling of late losing 9 of their last 12.
The Boston Celtics (49-18) hosted the Indiana Pacers (29-39) at the Garden for the second time of this four game series. This is the third meeting between the two teams with the Celtics winning all three games so far. Boston bounced back to pull even with the Chicago Bulls who are also 48-18 after a disappointing loss to the New Jersey Nets.
The Celtics scored first to open the quarter, but the Pacers came back to take a 12-6 lead on a Granger jumper. The score was 14-7 when Boston took a time out, and Garnett scored to make it 14-9. Boston got it within four, but the Pacers scored to make it a seven point lead. Green scored the final basket of the period to end the quarter with the Celtics down 20-15.
Boston scored the first three points of the second quarter to get within two at 20-18. Indiana pushed their lead backup with three points of their own. The Celtics went on an 8-2 run to take the lead on a Green 3-pointer. Both teams traded baskets, but Indiana tied it up on a McRoberts jumper.
Allen hit a 3-pointer at the 2:35 mark to cap another run by the Celtics, this time it was an 15-2 run that pushed the C’s lead to 13. The Pacers finished the half on a 9-3 run to get the score 47-40.
Danny Granger and Paul George both scored 15 points. Tyler Hansbrough and Darren Collison both had 10 points with Collison having nine assists, and Hansbrough had 11 rebounds. Josh McRoberts scored 14 points and 11 rebounds.
Paul Pierce scored 20 points to lead the Celtics and the game, and he also had five assists. Ray Allen scored 12 points, and Nenad Krstic scored 11 points with seven rebounds. Kevin Garnett scored 10 points and Rajon Rondo scored zero points, but had eight assists, two steals and a block.
Jeff Green helped out with a big game scoring 19 points, and Glen Davis had nine points and nine rebounds.
The Boston bench outscored the Pacers bench 39-24, but the Pacers outrebounded the Celtics 49-36.
Boston continued to push their lead in the third period, as they got it to seven before George made a 3-pointer for the Pacers, and Granger hit another to make it a four point game. Boston then pushed their lead to ten with a 10-3 run that gave them a 64-53 lead. The Pacers cut the lead to seven with a Granger jumper.
The Pacers called a timeout at the 2:56 mark, but could not score until the end of the period. Boston went on a 9-2 run to close with a 14 point lead that was boosted by a Carlos Arroyo (3 points) 3-pointer at the buzzer.
The fourth quarter began and the Celtics kept their lead at 14 points while the Pacers tried to cut into it. A Troy Murphy (6 points) jumper made it a 16 point lead for the Celtics, and they then called a timeout. Indiana scored six straight points to cut the lead down to 12 points Roy Hibbert (6 points) dunk only to have Krstic push it back to 14 on a Krstic layup.
The Celtics pretty much sealed the game at the 2:36 mark when they pushed their lead to 17 points on a free-throw and jumper by Allen. The Pacers did not quit though as they ended the game on a 6-2 run.
The Pacers are coming off back to back wins against the Knicks for their only two wins in their last nine games.
Boston have now won the four out of their last eight.
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