Final - OT
  for this game

Allen's 35 leads Celtics to 12th straight win

Dec 8, 2008 - 3:49 AM By Chris Nelsen PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

INDIANAPOLIS (Ticker) -- Ray Allen scored a season-high 35 points, including seven in overtime, and the Boston Celtics survived a scare from the Indiana Pacers in a 122-117 victory on Sunday night.

The Celtics (20-2) needed every one of Allen's points to avoid their second loss to Indiana (7-13) this season. The Pacers beat Boston, 95-79, at Conseco Fieldhouse on November 1.

The 33-year-old Allen finished 13-of-21 from the field, including 7-of-12 from beyond the arc, and his 3-pointer late in overtime gave the Celtics a 116-111 advantage.

"Man, I don't care how old he is, he's always going to be able to shoot the ball," Pacers forward Danny Granger said of Allen. "He's a dead-eye shooter."

Following Allen's 3-pointer in overtime, T.J. Ford's triple brought the Pacers within 118-115, but Paul Pierce's two free throws pushed the lead back to five with 22 seconds left.

"We came in respecting (Indiana) and knowing it was going to be a tough game," Allen said. "I think the Pacers are a good team. I don't look down on them as a team that can't compete, regardless of what their record is."

Kevin Garnett finished with 17 points, 20 rebounds and five steals, and Pierce added 17 points and eight assists for the Celtics, who beat the Pacers for the second time in five days.

"Their team is just so deep," Granger said. "If Ray Allen doesn't make the shot, Paul Pierce makes it or (Garnett)."

Marquis Daniels had 26 points and seven rebounds, Granger chipped in 20 points and six assists and Jarrett Jack scored 17 for the Pacers, who lost their fourth home game this season by seven points or less.

"A difficult loss for our guys to swallow," Indiana coach Jim O'Brien said. "Other than the first quarter, I thought we outplayed them. We were one rebound away from winning in regulation."

With the Pacers holding a 101-98 lead with 3:48 left in the fourth quarter, it was Allen's 3-pointer that tied the score. Pierce's free throw gave the Celtics a 102-101 lead with 45 seconds left, and the Pacers jumped back in front with a pair of free throws by Jack.

Jack hit two more free throws to give Indiana a 105-102 lead with 14 seconds left, but Pierce hit a 3-pointer with seven seconds remaining to send the game to overtime.

"It wasn't really by design," Pierce said of his clutch shot. "That was for Ray or Eddie (House) coming off. Ray missed the shot, but we just kept scrambling and scrambling. Eddie gets the offensive rebound and finds me wide open."

The Celtics took advantage of seven turnovers by the Pacers in the first quarter to open a 32-22 lead. Allen had nine points in the period for Boston, which shot 55 percent from the field.

The Celtics took their biggest lead of the first half, 35-24, on House's 3-pointer early in the second quarter. Indiana answered with an 11-0 run, capped by Daniels' three-point play, to tie the score at 35-35.

Boston regained a 55-54 advantage on House's 3-pointer late in the second quarter, but Daniels' triple from halfcourt beat the buzzer to give the Pacers a 57-55 lead at the intermission. Daniels had 20 points in the first half.

The teams battled back and forth in the third quarter. There were five ties and two lead changes before the Pacers took an 81-78 edge on Jack's driving jumper to end the period.

"We just found a way to win," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. "We stole that one and that feels great."