The Celtics apparently responded to Doc River's tirade by coming out strong and building a 24-19 first quarter lead, and extending that to 43-33 at the half. The lead, amazingly, was built on 28 bench points courtesy of 10 points each from Greg Stiemsma and Ray Allen and 8 from Sasha Pavlovic.
The second half was an ugly, disjointed, most poorly officiated mess of a half. Eddie F. Rush had a bug up his ass about the way the Celtics reacted to an obviously blown call in the second quarter and he, and his cohorts, nearly lost complete control the rest of the way. Both teams have legitimate complaints against this crew, and it made the second half virtually unwatchable.
Still… Paul Pierce's 13 third quarter points carried the team through a disgusting third quarter in which the rest of the team only scored 3 points. KG, who had a rough night up until the late 3rd quarter, put up 10 4th quarter points to hold the Pacers at arms length.
Big props to Greg Stiemsma, who finished with those 10 points, 9 rebounds and 5 blocked shots. Pierce and KG were clearly the 2nd half MVP's… but the Stiem-boat keyed that 2nd quarter run.
The Avery Bradley-Ray Allen swap worked about as well as we could hope. The C's D built a big lead early and Ray Allen made a couple of big shots late when the C's needed them most.
The Pacers were playing on a back-to-back and it showed. They front-rimmed a lot of shots. C's win it 86-72