George powers Pacers past Celtics

Tue Mar 15, 2016 10:51pm EDT
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(The Sports Xchange) - As is usually the case when the Indiana Pacers win, Paul George provided plenty of offense.

But after Indiana's 103-98 victory Tuesday night against the Boston Celtics, George and the Pacers wanted to talk defense.

"Teams that stretch the floor have given us problems, so we had to guard to win this game," said George, who led all scorers with 25 points. "Our message tonight was, "Guard our guy."

Two George Hill free throws with 7:43 to play began a 6-0 Pacers run and the Celtics (39-28) never led again. It was only the fourth time in the past 30 games that Boston was held below 100 points.

Indiana (36-31) won the four-game season series with Boston 3-1.

Monta Ellis added 16 points, seven rebounds and six assists for the Pacers. Jordan Hill came off the bench for 15 points and Ian Mahinmi finished with 13 points and six rebounds.

The Pacers shot 46.4 percent from the field (39 of 84) and held Boston to 38.3 percent (36 of 94), including 8 of 32 from 3-point range.

Isaiah Thomas led the Celtics with 21 points, Jonas Jerebko had 17 and Jared Sullinger added 15 points and 11 rebounds. Marcus Smart scored 12 points.

"We have been more aggressive lately pressuring the ball," Mahinmi said when asked what fueled this Pacers' defensive effort. "That helped us slow the game down."   Continued...

Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas (4) dribbles the ball while Indiana Pacers forward Paul George (13) defends during the second half of  the game at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Indiana Pacers defeat Boston Celtics 103-98. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports