The early part of this game was defined by the battle between Roy Hibbert and Tyler Zeller. The Pacers gave Hibbert plenty of opportunities to bully Tyler Zeller in the post in the first few minutes. But, Zeller held his own and forced Hibbert into 0/4 shooting in the first. On the other end, Zeller started out great. He used his relative quickness to drive past Hibbert a few times. He nearly outscored the entire Pacers team during his minutes and finished the quarter with 11 points.
In a surprising move, Kelly Olynyk checked into the game and hit his first three point attempt. Evidently he was unfazed by his disgusting eye injury from pregame.
Isaiah Thomas ended the quarter by burning C.J. Watson with a fantastic hesitation move and finishing in traffic.
Boston opened up their lead in the second quarter. Jonas Jerebko was absolutely hounding offensive rebounds. The Celtics weren't shooting great, so the extra possessions really helped.
Evan Turner played really well in a distributing role for the team too. His shot wasn't falling, but he made up for it with nine assists in the half.
The duo of Indiana C.J.s threatened to make it close towards the end of the half. But, Boston recovered quickly with a nine point run to close it out.
The Pacers might have had a size advantage in the front court, but they couldn't take advantage of it. The Celtics doubled the post really effectively and just played tough defense. Jae Crowder defended Luis Scola on his own successfully. Even the bigs that switched onto guards performed pretty well. On one possession Jerebko stayed in front of Rodney Stuckey, and even contested the shot on Stuckey's shooting hand.
Boston's big men dominated on the offensive end too. Most of it was from Zeller's 17 points, but Bass and Olynyk combined for a very solid 16 as well.
Boston opened the second half leading 50-39. They continued to pile on the points against Indiana early in the quarter and extended the lead to 18. Roy Hibbert came alive and the Pacers rattled off a 10 point run.
Boston really couldn't get much going on offense. They could only score nine points in the last eight minutes of the quarter. Isaiah Thomas struggled with turnovers and the team shot poorly as a whole. The Pacers capitalized and cut the lead down to six points going into the fourth.
Thankfully Boston's shooting woes were nowhere to be found early in the fourth. Jae Crowder and Olynyk combined to score Boston's first 13 points. Rodney Stuckey kept the Pacers close with eight points of his own in the early going.
After a few fast break buckets, the Celtics built a double digit lead again. Then Olynyk hit a huge three to give Boston a 16 point lead with just four minutes left. Boston finished out strong to end the game comfortably. Evan Turner posted yet another triple double.
With the backcourt shooting poorly, the Celtics had to lean on their bigs. They came up huge tonight. Zeller and Olynyk each scored 19, and Bass didn't miss a shot. Combined with a strong defensive effort, that was all Boston needed to keep pace with Brooklyn for the eight seed in the East.