Granger leads Pacers past CelticsJan 15, 2012 - 4:00 AM Indianapolis, IN (Sports Network) - Danny Granger scored 21 points and the Indiana Pacers beat the Boston Celtics for the second time in nine days, 97-83, on Saturday night.
Darren Collison and Paul George added 17 points apiece for the Pacers, who have won five of six to improve to 9-3 this season.
Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett had 21 points apiece for the reeling Celtics, whose four-game losing streak now includes two losses to the Pacers.
The good news? Saturday marked the only time in nine games the Celtics had to play on the road. They were coming off a 2-3 homestand and are headed back to Boston for three in a row.
"We knew it would be a tough one," said Celtics head coach Doc Rivers -- and it was.
Boston's last lead was 24-23 late in the first quarter, hardly the effort Pacers coach Frank Vogel expected from a team he expected would arrive "mad and with an edge" based on its losing streak.
"I challenged our guys," Vogel said.
It worked. The Pacers took the lead for good on Collison's jumper with around two minutes left in the first quarter, which made it 25-24. They led 29-24 going into the second quarter and were up 56-48 at halftime.
Indiana stretched its lead to 15 points by the end of the third, holding the Celtics to 31.8 percent shooting in the quarter and taking an 82-67 advantage into the fourth .
The cushion grew to a game-high 20 points with under two minutes remaining on Jeff Pendergraph's putback.
Afterward, Vogel's assessment of his team might have been right on.
"Our defense is probably ahead of what I thought. Our rebounding is where I thought it would be and our offense is behind," he said.
Indeed, the Pacers held the Celtics to 38.6 percent shooting and outrebounded them 52-45. But they also shot just 37.2 percent, including 5-of-16 from three-point range.
Indiana has won three straight in the series after losing the previous five. The Pacers beat the Celtics 87-74 last week. They are headed on the road for three games in California starting Wednesday at Sacramento.
- BOSTON: 83
Jan 14 9:32 PM
- BOSTON: 67
End of 3rd
Jan 14 9:02 PM
- BOSTON: 48
Jan 14 8:18 PM
- BOSTON: 24
End of 1st
Jan 14 7:41 PM
- BOSTON: 0
1st Quarter - 12:00
Jan 14 7:12 PM
- Magic formally introduce Frank Vogel as their new coach May 23
- Magic officially announce Frank Vogel as new head coach May 20
- AP Source: Orlando Magic hire Frank Vogel as next coach May 19
- Towns, Porzingis unanimously selected to All-Rookie 1st team May 19
- AP Source: Knicks working to hire Jeff Hornacek as coach May 18
- Celtics' Olynyk undergoes successful shoulder surgery May 17
- After lots of losing, 76ers hope to win big in NBA lottery May 17
- Nate McMillan takes over as head coach of the Indiana Pacers May 16
- Indiana Pacers promote assistant Nate McMillan to be team's head coach May 16
- Love's Return: Cavs' big man thriving in second postseason May 11
- Pacers seeking new voice after parting ways with Frank Vogel May 5
- Indiana Pacers not renewing contract of coach Frank Vogel May 5