Since meeting earlier in the month of January, the Boston Celtics and Indiana Pacers have gone separate directions. Indiana handed Boston two losses during a five-game losing streak while winning five of six games during that span.
Now, the Celtics have found their groove, winning three in a row, and the Pacers have only gone 3-2 in their last five games. Paul Pierce and the Celtics look to build their win streak to four straight when they host Indiana at 7:30 p.m. EDT on Friday night at TD Garden in Boston, MA (TV/Radio: CSNNE/WEEI).
Boston and Indiana have met twice already this season, with the Pacers winning both times. Indiana gave Boston its first loss in its five-game losing streak earlier this month when it topped the C's, 87-74, on Jan. 6. Ray Allen scored 23 points to lead all scorers for Boston, which scored just 25 points in the first half (which tied a franchise low for points in a half).
In the next meeting in Indiana on Jan. 14, the Pacers cruised to a 97-83 victory. Kevin Garnett had 21 points and Jermaine O'Neal totaled a season-high 12 boards in the loss for the Celtics. It was Boston's fourth loss during its five-game skid.
The Celtics will be playing their second game in as many days, as they are coming off a 91-83 victory over the Orlando Magic on Thursday night. Boston trailed by 27 points in the first half, but led by Paul Pierce (24 points, 10 assists) the C's overcame their largest deficit in 16 seasons to capture their second straight win over Orlando this week.
Meanwhile, the Pacers battled the Chicago Bulls in their last game on Wednesday. Roy Hibbert totaled 20 points, eight rebounds and found blocks to lead Indiana, which shot 47.5 percent from the floor in a 95-90 victory. Danny Granger led the Pacers with 22 points and David West added 14 points, seven rebounds, four assists, three steals and two blocks.