At home, the Pacers play like a playoff team, but on the road they often play like my YMCA rec team. To win in Boston, they would have to play better than a mix-match of professors and General Studies students.
Early, this was the case. Teague was active, poaching a steal like a slick pick-pocket in a Masshole dive, making sharp passes for easy buckets, and even hitting from long range. Lavoy Allen made an appearance late in the first, pulling down offensive board after board, but the Pacers were never able to pull away due to cold shooting from anyone not named Teague or George, and Boston capitalized, mixing lineups to expose the Pacers bench. The Celtics, despite their sloppiness (six turnovers), ended the first up 21-19. The second quarter did not provide much relief for the Pacers, and a costly offensive foul on PG led to a last second 3 by Bradley to send the Pacers into the locker room down 7.
The third quarter saw both teams get hot, but the Celtics, despite shooting a little worse from the field than the Pacers, pushed the lead to 14 to enter the fourth after a wild end-of-quarter sequence that had Brooks fouling a falling Marcus Smart who converted the and-1. Nate rode the 30+ point night from PG into the fourth, and once Teague joined him, the Pacers cut the lead to seven with five minutes to go to make it a real game.
They never got closer than six. Teague (25) and PG (37) were the only two in double figures, and GR3 and CJ didn’t see a minute in the fourth, inexplicably (CJ got in during the final minute with the Pacers down 10+). Ellis was 2-10 with 3 turnovers. The bench bright spot was Lavoy Allen, who pulled a season-high 14 rebounds.
Pacers lose: 100-109