Live Blog: Celtics at Pacers


Nov 14, 2009

Live Blog: Celtics at Pacers

Final score, Pacers 113, Celtics 104: A fourth quarter that opened with promise ended with major disappointment, as the Celtics were outscored 27-18 in the final 10 minutes.

Fourth quarter, 59.6, 113-102 Pacers: An ugly weekend for the Celtics has less than a minute left in it.

Fourth quarter, 2:20, 111-101 Pacers: Ray Allen didn't even catch rim on a 3-point attempt, and Jones drilled another jumper to stretch Indiana's lead to double-digits.

It's going to take some sort of miracle for the Celtics to even make this one exciting.

Fourth quarter, 2:48, 107-101 Pacers: A Pierce 3-pointer cut the lead to six, but a Garnett foul puts Granger on the line.

Fourth quarter, 3:41, 107-98: The C's are going to need to start playing some defense, and Pierce is going to have to do a better job of hitting free throws. The captain just missed two.

Fourth quarter, 4:40, 105-96: There's still time left, but Granger's 3-ball just might have been the dagger.

Fourth quarter, 6:46, 96-92 Pacers: Doc joins the technical crew, getting T'd up for arguing a call. Some day, the league will realize that displays such as this are the reason that so many people hate the NBA. Nobody wants to know the names of the referees, let alone their habits.

Fourth quarter, 7:05, 95-92 Pacers: Joey Crawford calling a technical foul for absolutely no reason? Sounds about right.

Perk gets T'd up for … well, your guess is as good as mine.

Fourth quarter, 9:56, 88-86 Celtics: So much for that hole. The Celtics open the fourth on a 9-2 run, with Rasheed and Ray knocking down threes and Daniels slamming home an alley-oop from Allen.

End of third quarter, 84-79 Pacers: If that doesn't wake the Celtics up, nothing will. The Pacers close out a 32-18 third quarter with a 14-3 run. A 3-ball from Rush with less than two seconds left on the clock got the Indiana crowd into the game, and the Celtics have a fairly large hole to dig themselves out of in the fourth quarter.

Third quarter, 2:06, 79-76 Celtics: This game will come down to the final minutes. It's clear that the Celtics aren't going to stop the Pacers from scoring. Whether it's tired legs on defense, an explosive Indiana offense or (more likely) a combination of the two, the Pacers are matching the Celtics basket for basket.

Third quarter, 2:38, 77-76 Celtics: Jim O'Brien and Ford must have a pretty healthy relationship, as the head coach just picked the player's gum off the court. Gross.

Third quarter, 5:28, 73-70 Celtics: The Pacers are outscoring the Celtics 18-12 in the third.

The Celtics still don't want to take any 3-point attempts, which is at least part of the reason they can't open a significant lead.

Then again, they only hit one of 15 attempts from beyond the arc on Friday night, so the four attempts in this game could also be the reason that they have a lead at all.

Third quarter, 6:41, 69-66 Celtics: Paul Pierce gave some extra effort under the basket, but his tip-in attempt didn't fall.

On the other end of the court, Watson snuck behind Pierce before exploding to the net for a layup and a foul. Watson hit the freebie, and the lead is just three.

Third quarter, 61-56 Celtics: Rondo can't buy a free throw at this point after missing a pair early in the third. On Friday night, he went 0-for-2 from the line, and he's hit just three of 12 this season.

Halftime, 61-52 Celtics: Where is the Celtics' defense?

A 52-point half is sure to be a part of Doc's halftime address. Offensively, the C's have had no trouble scoring, but they'll want to keep the Pacers from hanging around.

The stat that jumps off the page at the half is that the Celtics have only attempted four 3-pointers, yet they've scored 61 points. Ray Allen was the only Celtic to hit a shot from downtown.

Granger, meanwhile, was firing away, hitting five of his seven attempts from 3-point range. He leads all scorers with 20 points.

The Celtics have a bit of a more balanced attack working: Allen has 14 points, Garnett has 11, and eight others are on the score sheet.

Second quarter, 1:40, 54-48 Celtics: You just have to love Paul Pierce taking a charge, bad knee and everything.

Second quarter, 3:26, 50-45 Celtics: The C's take advantage of some big Pacers mistakes, starting with Hibbert getting careless with the ball. Rondo came up with a steal. Two possessions later, the Pacers left Pierce wide open in the paint for an easy bucket.

The Pacers, meanwhile, haven't hit a field goal in three minutes.

Second quarter, 4:35, 46-43 Celtics: … and Brandon Rush will likely be in SportsCenter's "not top 10" after tipping the ball into his own basket. It looked like Rush, anyway. Perk will take the two points.

Second quarter, 6:13, 42-41 Celtics: T.J. Ford will likely make an appearance on SportsCenter's top 10 after crawling up most of the court before hitting a runner. You don't see an NBA player in full-on crawl mode too often.

Second quarter, 7:13, 42-39 Celtics: Perkins follows a wild Allen layup with an offensive board and a two-foot bank shot, extending the Celtics' lead to three. The Celtics are 0-for-3 from 3-point range thus far, while the Pacers are 4-for-7.

Second quarter, 8:54, 37-35 Pacers: There's the side of Rasheed that Celtics fans weren't overly eager to see this season. Though the foul call that he was arguing was pretty bad.

Second quarter, 8:56, 36-35 Pacers: This game isn't short on lead changes, as a Brandon Rush 3-pointer gives the Pacers the advantage.

Second quarter, 10:24, 33-31 Pacers: Earl Watson pulls the Paul Pierce move, getting the defender in the air before drawing contact to get a couple of free throws. It looked on replay like Watson was the one initiating most of the contact.

End of first quarter, 27-26 Celtics: The C's gained control of a game that belonged to the Pacers early.

Garnett leads all scorers with nine points, while Grander leads the Pacers with eight. Both teams have seven assists, and the Celtics have a healthy 14-8 advantage on the glass (something they could have used on Friday night).

First quarter, 1:25, 27-24 Celtics: Rondo makes a nice steal, knocking the ball loose from Dahntay Jones. Rondo then took off up court, and Pierce hit his point guard with a 75-foot Hail Mary pass. Rondo laid it in for the easy two points.

First quarter, 3:20, 23-22 Celtics: Was that an up-fake by Sheldon Williams or just some fortunately timed indecision?

Either way, Williams knocks down a pair of free throws to give the Celtics a lead.

First quarter, 5:31, 20-18 Pacers: That was as sloppy a six-minute stretch as you'll see the Celtics play all season. Fortunately, Garnett can knock down 18-foot jumpers with his eyes closed, so it's just a two-point deficit. The ability of Rondo and Allen to score some points in the paint helped as well.

The Pacers have hit eight of their 12 shots, including Granger's 2-of-3 shooting from beyond the arc.

Garnett already has eight points, three rebounds and an assist.

First quarter, 9:44, 9-6 Pacers: The game's opened up with a somewhat frenzied scoring pace. When the Celtics-Suns game opened in a similar fashion, the Celtics were out of gas by the fourth quarter.

7:02 p.m.: Danny Granger is always an exciting player to watch. He doesn't get the fanfare of a LeBron James or Dwyane Wade, and he's probably not on that level. But Granger can play.

7 p.m.: All set for the tip.

6:34 p.m.: Pierce will play. That's obviously good news for the Celtics, and it's not that surprising. Pierce seemed confident that some rest and ice would be all he needed.

5:53 p.m.: Have you ever heard of an "8-and-7"? Probably not.

It's what Doc Rivers uses to refer to 8 p.m. games being followed by 7 p.m. games, and he told all about it.

"I hate those 8-and-7's," Rivers told the Web site. "It's tough — 8 [p.m.] usually means it's a [national] TV game, and that means a longer game. Then you get on the plane, go wherever you have to go and play at 7 [p.m.] the next night, less than 24 hours later. With a long flight [to Indianapolis], this is a tough one."

5:09 p.m.: Former Celtics head coach and current Pacers head coach Jim O'Brien will be stressing defense in this one.

4:23 p.m.: The Celtics find themselves in a position that they likely don't enjoy too much, playing a road game the night after a home loss. The same scenario played out last weekend, and they came out with an all-too-close victory over a winless New Jersey squad.

The Celtics will need a bit more energy on Saturday night if they want to avoid consecutive losses.

The Pacers have played just six games thus far, going 3-3. After dropping their first three games against playoff contenders, they rolled off three consecutive wins against New York, Golden State and Washington.

The Celtics' starting five could have a new look to it when the game begins, as captain Paul Pierce's status is in question after suffering a minor knee injury in Friday night's loss to the Hawks.

If Pierce is unable to go, it will be interesting to see what rotations Doc Rivers uses. Marquis Daniels could sub in for Pierce, or the C's could go big with Rasheed Wallace, Kendrick Perkins and Kevin Garnett on the court together, with Rajon Rondo and Ray Allen in the backcourt. Having that kind of experience on the floor won't hurt against a team with an average age of 26 years old.

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