By Tyler Sullivan Follow on Twitter @TylerSully
Indiana pointed out a fatal flaw in this promising Celtics season. The Pacers were able to look to their star forward Paul George, give him the ball in crunch time and say “win the game.”
Boston does not have that luxury.
George scored 11 of his game high 26 points in the second half helping the Pacers defeat the Celtics 102-91.
The game tuned at the 8:45 mark in the 3rd quarter with the Celtics leading 60-56 until Paul George hit a pair of three’s to start an 11-0 Indiana run.
Brad Steven’s crew just couldn’t get anything going on offense. Partially due to officiating and partially due to erratic play on the Celtics front. The C’s committed 5 turnovers in the final three minutes of the game.
“I thought we were trying to get it into the paint but I thought we did it haphazardly (after the 8-min mark),” said Celtics head coach Brad Stevens after the game.
- Marcus Smart (toe) returned to the lineup, but in a limited role. He logged the most minutes off the bench (21), looked good on the defensive side of the ball, but was rusty on the offensive end. He had 8 points shooting just 1-6 from the floor (6-8 FT).
- Evan Turner was the best Celtic on the floor scoring 20 points against his old team. He also had 3 assists, 3 rebounds and a pair of blocks on the Pacers.
- Avery Bradley was out after suffering a bruised left leg on Tuesday.
- David Lee provided 16 solid minutes off the bench for the Celtics going 4-5 from the floor, dropping 13 points and grabbing 6 rebounds.
- Jae Crowder (5 points, 5 steals and 5 rebounds) had a night he’d probably want to forget.
- 4-24 from beyond the arch. Not ideal.
- Isaiah Thomas had an average game scoring 14 points, 4 assists and 3 rebounds. Once Marcus Smart returns to the starting rotation, Thomas’ production should increase returning to his more effective 6th man position.
- It was bad Kelly Olynyk tonight at the Garden. The 7-footer was 1-4 with 4 points.
- Celtics rookies R.J. Hunter and Terry Rozier both played significant minutes for Brad Stevens down the stretch logging 20 and 16 respectively.
- Hunter has really come on strong in his first few games in the NBA and even though his box score won’t show it every night (2-5 from the floor for 5 points and 2 rebounds) he is really grasping the game quickly. He also is finding how deep his range is.
- Tyler Zeller again did not see any playing time. James Young also sat out for the C’s.
- Jared Sullinger recorded another double-double (11pts-11reb). Sully is also shooting 44-percent from deep this season.
- Going into tonight Boston led the NBA in turnovers and probably didn’t help their case tonight coughing it up 18 times.