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Shorthanded Celtics top Pacers 108-98

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Boston improves to 14-0 when allowing fewer than 100 points

NBA: Boston Celtics at Indiana Pacers Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

As has been their MO this season, the Celtics started slow and turned it on in the second half. The defense shut down the Pacers, and the offense picked it up, as Boston won their second straight to improve to 18-3 on the season.

Playing without Jaylen Brown (personal reasons) and Marcus Morris (rest), Brad Stevens mixed and matched lineups all game. Marcus Smart drew the start and played one of his better games of the year with 15 points on 7-of-8 shooting, 6 rebounds and 5 assists. Kyrie Irving and Al Horford handled the bulk of the scoring with 25 and 21 points respectively, while Terry Rozier had a second straight strong game with 17 off the bench.

After allowing 54 first-half points, the Celtics defense picked it up in the second half and allowed just 44 points. This marked the 14th time in 21 games that Boston has allowed fewer than 100 points, and the Celtics are a perfect 14-0 when doing so.

Lance Stephenson, who started for the injured Victor Oladipo, got off to a hot start with 12 first-quarter points. He would score just four the rest of the way however. Without Oladipo, Indiana lacked their go-to scorer, and that contributed to their struggles in the second half.

Boston will look to extend their win streak to three games on Monday night, as they welcome home old friend Avery Bradley and the Detroit Pistons.