Pierce powers Celtics over Pacers
Boston, MA (Sports Network) – Paul Pierce had a game-high 25 points and added
seven rebounds and five assists, as the Boston Celtics defeated Indiana,
85-71, at TD Banknorth Garden.
Mark Blount poured in 22 points on 9-of-12 shooting for Boston, which snapped
a two-game losing streak.
Ricky Davis chipped in eight points and seven assists in the win.
“I thought we had great defensive energy, but we have to play better than that
on most nights,” said Boston head coach Doc Rivers. “Indiana was flat. So I
was happy with the win but I honestly was not happy with the way we played.”
Stephen Jackson netted 18 points but shot just 5-of-20 from the floor for the
undermanned Pacers, who had a two-game win streak snapped. Jermaine O’Neal had
a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds, and Anthony Johnson also
contributed 14 points.
Ron Artest, who publicly asked to be traded from the Pacers this week, did not
play. He has reportedly been told not to attend practices or games while
Indiana tries to find a suitor. Artest had missed the previous two games
before making the comments with a wrist injury, both Pacer wins.
Boston led by just one after the opening 12 minutes but went on a 10-2 run to
start the second that staked them to a 32-23 advantage.
The Celtics continued to build on that gap throughout the quarter. Pierce
netted a layup with 1:44 remaining that put his team up 14, and West added a
three-pointer with 2.2 seconds on the clock that made it 47-31 at
Blount was 6-of-8 from the floor for 12 points to lead all first half scorers.
The Celtics as a team shot 47.5 percent from the floor, while Indiana
connected on just 34.3 percent of its shots.
The Pacers opened up the second half on an 8-0 run to cut the deficit to
eight. Boston, however, was able to fend off any further damage and took a
61-52 lead into the fourth quarter.
The Celtics assumed a 14-point advantage with 7:32 left in the game on a long
three-pointer by Pierce. Indiana countered with a 13-6 spurt, which was capped
by a Fred Jones three-ball with 3:36 left on the clock that made it a seven-
Pierce answered with four straight points, though, including a layup with 2:46
to go, that pushed the advantage back to double digits and helped seal the
“We had some stretches where I thought we really had good shots and when we
had good shots we couldn’t get them to go, which didn’t allow us to get
anything going defensively,” said Indiana head coach Rick Carlisle.
The Pacers’ Jamaal Tinsley missed his fifth straight game with a groin
injury…The Pacers are 5-5 away from home this season…Boston, which will
wrap up a brief two-game homestand against Milwaukee on Friday, is 7-5 in its
arena this season…The road team in this series has dropped 11 of the last 16