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Pacers hold on to defeat the Celtics

Mar 29, 2011 - 3:11 AM Indianapolis, IN (Sports Network) - Roy Hibbert led all scorers with 26 points and Danny Granger provided 18, as the Indiana Pacers held on for a 107-100 win over the Boston Celtics at Conseco Fieldhouse.

Darren Collison went for 17 points, while A.J. Price came off the bench to contribute 15 for the Pacers, who snapped a brief two-game slide and have won three of their last five overall. Indiana, which halted a five-game slide to the Celtics, currently holds the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

"We are very happy and thrilled to get this win," Collison said. "We got out there and gutted it out, played hard when we had to, looked for the open person and got the ball to them."

Indiana is bidding for it first playoff appearance since the 2005-06 season.

Paul Pierce had a team-best 23 points and six rebounds for Boston, which has dropped three of its last four, but has already clinch the Atlantic Division title. Rajon Rondo added 22 points and eight assists, and Glen Davis chipped in 20 points in a reserve role.

Tied at 94-94 with 5:47 left in the fourth quarter, Collison's jumper and breakaway dunk sandwiched around a Brandon Rush layup put the Pacers in front 100-94.

Indiana went up by eight before a Davis driving layup and free throw cut Boston's deficit to five at 102-97 with just under three minutes to play.

"We couldn't get a stop all game," Pierce said. "In the most important part of the game, the fourth quarter, we couldn't get a stop right there."

Pierce hit from long range with 54.9 seconds to get the Celtics within four, but Collison drove down the lane and got the roll to give the Pacers a 106-100 advantage with 34.4 seconds on the clock and they would hold on from there.

Rondo scored 12 points in the opening quarter to help the Celtics grab a 33-27 lead after 12 minutes.

The second quarter was a different story, as Dahntay Jones' jumper finished off a 13-2 Indiana run that carried over from the first quarter and the Pacers were in front 39-35 with 7:15 remaining before the break.

Indiana held the lead the rest of the way and Granger closed out the scoring with a jumper to put the Pacers ahead 57-49 heading into the locker room.

However, the Celtics turned up the defense and used a 22-6 run to go in front. Trailing 67-57 after Hibbert's three-point play, Davis started things with a dunk and Boston was off and running.

Two Pierce free throws capped the surge and put the visitors up 79-73 with 3:29 left in the third. Pierce and Ray Allen each hit a three-pointer during the run. Boston was ahead 85-81 after three quarters.

Game Notes

Despite the loss, Boston has still won 11 of the last 14 matchups against Indiana...The Pacers improved to 20-16 at home this season, while Boston fell to 22-14 on the road...Allen finished with 11 points for the Celtics.