Oladipo scores 35, Pacers recover to beat Celtics 97-91
BOSTON (AP) — Victor Oladipo scored 35 points and helped the Indiana Pacers recover after blowing a 26-point lead to beat the Boston Celtics 97-91 on Friday night.
Myles Turner scored 19 and the Pacers got 13 points each from Bojan Bogdanovic and Thaddeus Young while ending a five-game losing streak against the Celtics, who could not sustain a furious comeback in the second half.
Kyrie Irving led Boston with 21 points. Jaylen Brown added 16 points and Al Horford scored all 10 of his points in the second half and pulled down eight rebounds for the Celtics.
Boston had won five of six, but struggled from outside most of the night and finished 7 for 27 from 3-point range. Indiana also outscored Boston in the paint 42-38 and outrebounded the Celtics 53-38. Young led the Pacers with 14 rebounds and Oladipo pulled down 10.
Boston was coming off a 110-104 overtime win at Washington on Thursday night and stumbled through the first half, falling behind by nearly four touchdowns and getting booed loudly by the home fans. The Celtics rallied in the third quarter, outscoring Indiana 34-17, but could not hold off the Pacers down the stretch.
After Boston pulled within 76-72 entering the fourth, Indiana clung to the lead until Horford’s 3-pointer with 4:45 left put Boston up 83-82, the first time in the game the Celtics led. Oladipo answered with a jumper to restore Indiana’s lead, then Irving put Boston back up with a pair of free throws.
The back-and-forth ended there as Turner dunked in an offensive rebound to make it 86-85, Bogdanovic hit a free throw after a three-second violation and Oladipo drove for a pair of layups that put Indiana back up 91-85 with 1:37 left to play.
The Celtics made it interesting after a dreadful first half. Irving’s 3-pointer with 6:47 left in the third cut the margin to 70-55 and started Boston on an 11-2 run. Brown followed with a pair of layups, then made a steal and got it to Irving for a layup that made it 72-61 and Indiana stumbled at the other end with a shot-clock violation.
Another layup by Brown with 2:46 cut the lead to 72-63, the first time Boston was within single digits since trailing 19-12 with about four minutes left in the second quarter.
Pacers: Last beat Boston on March 15, 2016, winning 103-98 at Indianapolis. … The Pacers shot 61 percent (11 for 18) in the first quarter and led 30-16 entering the second period. … The Pacers improved to 14-18 against teams with a winning record. … Indiana last lost back-to-back games Jan. 18-19.
Celtics: Were sluggish from the start, making just 6 of 26 shots in the first quarter and missing all six 3-point attempts. … C Greg Monroe was playing his first home game for Boston and received a warm welcome when he entered the game late in the first quarter. The Celtics signed the free agent on Thursday had five points and six rebounds Thursday at Washington. … The Celtics were without guards Marcus Smart (right hand laceration) and Shane Larkin (sore right knee).
Pacers: Host the New York Knicks on Sunday.
Celtics: Host the revamped Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday afternoon.