Pacers need OT to fend off Boston’s late rally, 107-103
INDIANAPOLIS — Roy Hibbert scored 19 points, C.J. Miles added 17 and the Indiana Pacers held off the Boston Celtics 107-103 in overtime Friday night.
The Pacers (15-23) have won four of six.
Short-handed Boston (12-22) was led by Avery Bradley with 23 points, but the Celtics played without leading scorer Jeff Green as rumors swirled that he could be headed to Memphis in a trade. Minutes before tip-off, Boston announced it had sent Brandan Wright to Phoenix.
The Celtics fought hard. They erased a 13-point deficit in the final 8:34 of regulation and forced overtime with Bradley’s 3 with 4.3 seconds left. David West then missed a 3 at the buzzer for Indiana.
The Pacers led early in overtime, but Evan Turner’s jumper with 1:45 left gave Boston a 103-102 edge.
The Pacers made four straight free throws, and Boston’s Kelly Olynyk’s errant 3 sealed it.
The closing flurry was a stark contrast to what had been a mostly uninspiring game.
The Pacers appeared headed to a third straight home win over Boston when they opened the fourth quarter on a 12-4 run for a 77-64 lead.
The Celtics refused to go away. Bradley’s 17-footer capped an 8-0 run and when Jared Sullinger hit a 3 with 1:27 to go, Boston led 90-89.
Indiana regained the lead on C.J. Watson’s long 2-pointer and still led 94-91 when West made two free throws with 8.6 seconds left.
But Bradley’s clutch 3 tied the score.
Celtics: Boston was hoping it had started a new journey after snapping a four-game losing streak on the road Wednesday night at Brooklyn. Instead, the Celtics struggled offensively for most of the night and couldn’t quite close out the Pacers.
Pacers: The injuries just won’t go away for Indiana. In addition to Paul George (broken right leg), the Pacers played without starting point guard George Hill (strained left groin) and backup center Ian Mahinmi (torn left plantar fascia). Three of their teammates — Hibbert (sprained left ankle), guard Rodney Stuckey (sore right groin) and Watson (sore left foot) — all played hurt.
Celtics: Boston completes its three-game road trip at Toronto on Saturday.
Pacers: Indiana heads to Philadelphia on Saturday.