Pacers 87, Celtics 74: Paul Pierce, Boston Suffer Embarrassing Loss

Paul Pierce couldn't follow up his solid performance against New Jersey, making only 3-of-17 baskets and finishing with 10 points as the Boston Celtics were vanquished by the Indiana Pacers, 87-74, on Friday evening at TD Garden.

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Celtics Overtime: Ray Allen Aside, Boston Completely Flat In Loss

Celtics Overtime is a postgame feature providing extra news, notes and analysis from each game. Boston lost to the Indiana Pacers, 87-74, on Friday night in Boston, MA.

It had been an awfully long time since the Boston Celtics had played a half as poorly as they did during the first 24 minutes of their 87-74 loss to the Indiana Pacers on Friday. In fact, it had been 6,176 days -- that's 16 years, 10 months and 29 days -- since the C's had a half as bad as Friday's, in which Boston managed just 25 points. And yes, it was that bad.

The Celtics and Pacers were tied 14-14 after one quarter and were outscored 19-11 in the second quarter as Indiana took a 33-25 advantage at halftime. In that dreadful half, the C's shot 26.2 percent. Boston looked much better in the third quarter, with both teams scoring 30 points. In the fourth, the Celtics were again outscored, this time by five points, 24-19.

Ray Allen was a bright spot for the Celtics in the loss, but that was about it for the C's.

RAY ALLEN KEEPS CELTICS AFLOAT ALL BY HIMSELF

If anyone is doubting Ray Allen's abilities, they really have nothing to stand on. Allen is purely ageless -- it seems he is getting better with every year. Allen is the Celtics' leading scorer, averaging an even 20 points, and led all scorers with 23 points on 7-of-11 shooting in 38 minutes. Allen couldn't save the Celtics, though, as poor team play ruled the night.

"I look at a couple things," Allen said about what went wrong in the loss. "Starting the game, in the first quarter we only scored 14 points. I'm trying to figure out offensively what we could have done better. I don't know if we just missed shots. It's hard to put a finger on it. Down the stretch, defensively, we didn't get stops. I think consistent to our game, we had looks we didn't make, but offensively it seems like when the ball movement doesn't happen, then we end up putting ourselves in bad situations on defense."

Allen missed the Celtics' last game (a win over New Jersey) with the flu, which Allen was also dealing with on Monday against the Washington Wizards. In that game, Allen scored 27 points. There's no doubting Allen any more. Period.

PAUL PIERCE A NO-SHOW FOR CELTICS, STILL RECOVERING

While Ray Allen flourished for the Celtics, Paul Pierce didn't. Far from it, really. Pierce made just 3-of-17 field goals and finished with 10 points in 37 minutes for Boston. There are excuses for Pierce's lackluster performance, namely the fact that he is still working his way back from a bruised right heel that kept him out of camp and the team's first three games.

"I felt good," Pierce said. "I felt I took a lot of good shots, they just didn't fall tonight. I can live with it."

Had Pierce made even three more baskets, he could have reached 19 points and everything would seem normal. But he didn't, and as he said, he'll have to live with it. That's just how it goes sometimes. Nothing to be worried about in the long run, but let's call a spade a spade. Pierce just didn't get the job done for Boston on Friday night.

BRANDON BASS, CELTICS BENCH STRUGGLE IN LOSS

Brandon Bass' strong start to the 2011-12 season had created rumblings of his possible candidacy for the Sixth Man of the Year award. Coming into Friday's game, Bass was averaging 14.0 points and 6.6 rebounds and even had his name on the All-Star ballot. Bass did nothing to help his cause in either department, though, scoring five points on 2-of-7 shooting and collecting four rebounds in 27 minutes.

Bass wasn't the only member of the bench who was a virtual non factor. The C's bench only scored a measly 14 points in the game on 6-of-15 shooting, with Bass scoring five, Avery Bradley and Keyon Dooling scoring four and Chris Wilcox adding one point while Marquis Daniels, Greg Stiemsma, Sasha Pavlovic, and JaJuan Johnson were all scoreless.

"It bothers you whenever you lose, no matter who it is," Bass said. "I think that the bench has to be the group that brings consistent energy, and we've got to do all the little things. I think that we fell short of that tonight, but next game we'll pick it up."

With the Celtics' older core of starters, it's critical that Bass and the bench can produce consistently on a nightly basis if Boston plans on going anywhere in the postseason. Performances like this just won't cut it.

BOTTOM LINE: This was an ugly, embarrassing performance. There's really no way around that fact. The only thing to do now is to take whatever positives that Doc Rivers and the Celtics can find from this game -- if there are any at all -- and to move forward and focus on their next game.

NEXT UP: That next game will be a tough one, though. Boston hosts the defending champion Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday night at TD Garden. While the game will certainly have plenty of storylines, including the return of ex-Celtics point guard Delonte West, there is plenty of work to be done before hand. Boston returns to practice at noon Monday.


Final - 1.6.2012 1 2 3 4 Total
Indiana Pacers 14 19 30 24 87
Boston Celtics 14 11 30 19 74

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For more Boston Celtics coverage, visit our team page and blog, CelticsBlog.

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Celtics Vs. Pacers: Pierce, Dooling, Bass, Allen Postgame Interviews

BOSTON - In the words of Boston Celtics head coach Doc Rivers, his team and the Indiana Pacers both "set offense back about fifty years" in the C's 87-74 loss to the Pacers on Friday night at TD Garden. Boston shot 39.4 percent from the floor (26-of-66) after tying a franchise low with 25 first-half points. Meanwhile, Indiana shot 40.5 percent (32-for-79) in victory.

"We're 0-fer against quality opponents," said Celtics head coach Doc Rivers after the game. "But again, it's eight games into the year, so I'm not going to overdo that."

Eight games or not, it was still an ugly performance from the Celtics. The long bright spot on offense for Boston was (surprise!) Ray Allen, who lead all scorers with 23 points on 7-of-11 shooting. Meanwhile, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Rajon Rondo, Jermaine O'Neal and Brandon Bass did nothing to help the cause on the offensive end.

Pierce, Allen, Bass and Keyon Dooling spoke with reporters after the game. Audio is below.

AUDIO: Paul Pierce Postgame Interview (1-6-12)

AUDIO: Keyon Dooling Postgame Interview (1-6-12)

AUDIO: Brandon Bass Postgame Interview (1-6-12)

AUDIO: Ray Allen Postgame Interview (1-6-12)


Final - 1.6.2012 1 2 3 4 Total
Indiana Pacers 14 19 30 24 87
Boston Celtics 14 11 30 19 74

Complete Coverage >


For more Boston Celtics coverage, visit our team page and blog, CelticsBlog.

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Celtics Vs. Pacers: Boston's Effort Lacking In Big Loss To Indiana

BOSTON - It was pretty clear from the start that the Boston Celtics were in for a rough night. Right from the start, the Celtics appeared flat and weren't able to recover in a gruesome 87-74 loss to the Indiana Pacers on Friday night.

Boston was held to 25 first-half points, tying a franchise low for points in a half (they also scored 25 points in the first half against the Cleveland Cavaliers in 1995). The Celtics finished with 39.4 percent shooting (26-of-66) in the game.

Meanwhile, Indiana didn't have a particularly memorable offensive effort. The Pacers scored 33 points themselves in the opening half but finished the game having made 32-of-79 field goals (40.5 percent) and 8-of-14 threes (57.1 percent).

In the end, it came down to effort, which the Pacers simply had more of in the win.

"I think it was their effort," said Celtics head coach Doc Rivers. "I thought their intensity - I just thought they were into us. They were in our airspace, you know? We always talk about owning the airspace of ours, and then owning the opponents' airspace. That's who we are. And they were us, for the entire game."

The Celtics received little production from the bench, which totaled 14 points on 6-of-15 shooting. Brandon Bass, who was averaging 14.0 points coming into the game, finished with five points while Keyon Dooling and Avery Bradley both scored four points. Marquis Daniels, Greg Stiemsma, JaJuan Johnson and Sasha Pavlovic were all scoreless.

"There's going to be nights like that," Rivers said. "Listen, there's going to be nights - I would say this: Brandon [Bass] was 2-for-7 and he missed five great shots. So, that's going to happen. We do have to get more out of our bench. And I told Keyon [Dooling] at halftime - because you could see, he actually played pretty well tonight - but I told him that's on me. I've got to find something that works with them that we can give them. The're an energy group; they're not a scoring group. But we've got to come up with something. And so that's not on them."

It wasn't entirely the lack of bench production that killed Boston, though. Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo were relatively dormant all night long. Ray Allen was the only bright spot in the starting lineup, scoring a game-high 23 points on 7-of-11 shooting. As for Pierce, he finished the game 3-of-17 from the field with 10 points in defeat.

"He was human. You know?" Rivers said about Pierce. "I thought he tried to so too much off the bounce, especially early. And then I thought he get frustrated a little bit. That's going to happen. But that's where somebody else we needed to pick up, and nobody could. Without Ray [Allen] shooting today, we would have shot 20 percent."

Boston is off until Wednesday, when it hosts the defending champion Dallas Mavericks. The Celtics will not hold practices on Saturday or Sunday and will return to the practice floor at noon on Monday.

For more Boston Celtics coverage, visit our team page and blog, CelticsBlog.

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Celtics Vs. Pacers Final Score: Boston Loses In Ugly Fashion, 87-74

BOSTON - The word "ugly" may need to be redefined after the performance from the Boston Celtics on Friday night, as the C's had their four-game winning streak snapped in a horrific 87-74 loss to the Indiana Pacers at TD Garden.

Boston shot 39.4 percent from the floor (26-for-66) and were 5-of-14 from three-point range. The Celtics scored just 25 points in the first half tied a franchise low for points in a single half. Boston also scored 25 points against the Cleveland Cavaliers back on February 8, 1995 before rallying in the second half to win.

"Both teams set offense back about fifty years today," said Celtics head coach Doc Rivers. "It was awful to watch. I thought defensively we were pretty good until the third quarter."

Ray Allen, who missed the Celtics' last game with the flu, did everything he could to keep his team in the game, scoring a game-high 23 points on 7-of-11 shooting in 38 minutes. Kevin Garnett finished with 12 points and six rebounds, Rajon Rondo had 11 points and nine assists and Paul Pierce added 10 points on 3-of-17 shooting in the embarrassing loss for Boston.

"He was human. You know?" Rivers said about Pierce. "I thought he tried to so too much off the bounce, especially early. And then I thought he get frustrated a little bit. That's going to happen. But that's where somebody else we needed to pick up, and nobody could. Without Ray [Allen] shooting today, we would have shot 20 percent."

Danny Granger scored a team-high 15 points for Indiana, which shot 40.5 percent from the field (32-for-79). Darren Collison scored 14 points, three of which came on a wide-open three with 1:32 left in the fourth quarter to put his team up 82-70, and George Hill added 13 points off the bench for the Pacers.

"We have confidence that we can beat any team in any building and this was a game that we knew to win here, we'd have to make it like an Eastern Conference playoff-type battle," said Pacers head coach Frank Vogel. "Just grind it out, have defensive effort. And both teams defended at an extremely high level. All of our guys contributed."

Boston is off until Wednesday when it hosts the defending champion Dallas Mavericks.


Final - 1.6.2012 1 2 3 4 Total
Indiana Pacers 14 19 30 24 87
Boston Celtics 14 11 30 19 74

Complete Coverage >


For more Boston Celtics coverage, visit our team page and blog, CelticsBlog.

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Celtics Vs. Pacers: Boston's 25-Point First Half Worst In Team History

BOSTON - The Boston Celtics weren't just bad in the first half of Friday night's game against the Indiana Pacers, they were historically bad. Boston made 9-of-34 shots in the game's first 24 minutes to shoot a dismal 26.2 percent, and the 25 points scored by the Celtics in the half was tied for the lowest single-half point total for the team in its storied history.

The Celtics made just 9-of-34 shots from the field and scored just 25 points in the first half Friday night against Indiana, matching a franchise worst mark for points in a half. Ray Allen return from the flu and scored eight points in the first quarter but none in the second. He was the game's high scorer through 24 minutes. (via WEEI.com)

Boston and Indiana were tied, 14-14, after one quarter and were 5-of-16 from the field. In the second quarter, the Celtics were outscored 19-11 and made 3-of-18 baskets in the period, giving the Pacers a 33-25 advantage at the intermission.

On February 8, 1995, the Celtics also scored 25 points in the first half against the Cleveland Cavaliers and trailed 40-25 at halftime before rallying to win 75-67.

Boston trails Indiana, 63-55, at the start of the fourth quarter here at TD Garden.

For more Boston Celtics coverage, visit our team page and blog, CelticsBlog.

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Celtics Vs. Pacers Score Update: Boston Trails, 33-25, At Halftime

BOSTON - Trying (and succeeding) to out-do their terrible first half performance against the New Jersey Nets on Wednesday night, the Boston Celtics shot 26.5 percent on 9-of-34 shooting and trail the Indiana Pacers, 33-25, after one half at TD Garden on Friday night.

Boston, which scored 34 first-half points in the first half of an eventual 89-70 win over the Nets, was tied 14-14 after one quarter and was outscored by Indiana 19-11 in the second quarter to take an eight point lead at the intermission.

Ray Allen, who made his return after missing the game against New Jersey with the flu, led all scorers with eight points for Boston. Rajon Rondo, Kevin Garnett and Jermaine O'Neal (five rebounds, three blocks) all have four points. Paul Pierce is 1-of-9 shooting with two points in 19 minutes for Boston after scoring a game-high 24 in the win over New Jersey.

Tyler Hansbrough has seven points and three boards to lead the Pacers, who made 13-of-29 field goals to shoot 33.3 percent in the opening half. Roy Hibbert has six points and seven rebounds in 16 minutes for Indiana.



For more Boston Celtics coverage, visit our team page and blog, CelticsBlog.

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Celtics Vs. Pacers: Ray Allen Expected To Play

Boston Celtics shooting guard Ray Allen participated in the team's shootaround on Friday morning and is expected to play Friday night against the Indiana Pacers, reports the Boston Globe's Gary Washburn.

Allen missed the team's 89-70 victory against New Jersey on Wednesday due to illness, affording Keyon Dooling his first start. In Allen's absence, Boston took a half to warm up, trailing by one at the intermission after scoring just 34 points. But the Celtics offense came alive in the second half, led by Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Brandon Bass. Dooling scored five points and notched one assist in 31 minutes of play during his first start with Boston.


Related: Celtics-Pacers preview

The Celtics have won four straight since Pierce returned from injury, but have yet to beat a team with a winning record. The Pacers should provide Boston's best test since Pierce's return.

For more Boston Celtics coverage, visit our team page or our blog CelticsBlog.

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Celtics Vs. Pacers: Paul Pierce, Boston Host Revamped Indiana

Paul Pierce and the Boston Celtics (4-3) host the revamped Indiana Pacers (4-2) at 7:30 p.m. EDT on Friday night at TD Garden in Boston, MA (TV/Radio: CSNNE/WEEI). Boston has won its last four games and is 3-0 at home this year.

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