BOSTON – Paul George scored 10 of Indiana’s last 12 points and the Pacers beat the Boston Celtics 102-97 on Saturday night, two days after beating another of the NBA’s worst teams.
The team with the best record in the NBA had trouble with the Celtics, who have the fourth-worst record in the East. On Thursday night, the Pacers won 101-96 over the Milwaukee Bucks, who have the league’s worst record.
George led the Pacers with 25 points, Evan Turner added 17 and Lance Stephenson scored 15. Indiana won its fourth straight game and eighth in its last 11.
Jeff Green had 27 points and Kris Humphries scored 18 as the Celtics lost for the sixth time in seven games.
The Pacers were helped when officials disallowed a 3-pointer by Rajon Rondo after they reviewed the play at the first stoppage after the basket, nearly two minutes later. They ruled that Rondo released the ball after the 24-second buzzer. That basket originally gave Boston a 93-90 lead with 4:37 left.
It was followed by two free throws and a reverse layup by George that put Indiana ahead 94-93. Then the reversal changed the scored to 94-90 with 2:38 remaining and the Celtics never caught up.
Jared Sullinger’s two free throws made it 94-92 before George’s layup restored the Pacers’ four-point lead. Boston cut that to 96-94 on two free throws by Brandon Bass with 1:31 remaining but George followed with a 3-pointer, making it 99-94.
Indiana increased the lead to 102-94 on two free throws by Stephenson and one by George before Green finished the scoring with a three-point play.
The Celtics scored nine of the last 11 points of the third quarter and took a 78-76 lead at the buzzer when Humphries dunked the ball after rebounding a missed shot by Sullinger.
Trailing 74-69, Humphries began the comeback with a 3-pointer on a layup and a free throw. Green and Humphries made jumpers, giving Boston a 76-74 lead with 3:28 left in the period. David West then tied the game with a foul-line jumper before Humphries’ quarter-ending dunk.
Indiana used an eight-point run to take a 51-41 lead with three minutes left in the second quarter. Luis Scola started the surge with a 13-footer, Turner followed with two jumpers and Roy Hibbert hit two free throws.
The Pacers led 55-45 before Chris Johnson’s 3-pointer cut the lead to 55-48 at halftime. The Celtics had a chance to draw closer, but Hibbert blocked Rondo’s shot with 29 seconds remaining.