Pacers Links: Pacers can't close deal against Celtics

USA TODAY Sports

When it was time to close out a home win over the Celtics, the Pacers came up empty and were left with a tough loss to digest.

The Indiana Pacers have had a few tough losses at home this season but their 83-81 loss to the Boston Celtics on Wednesday night may have been the most painful of the lot.

The Pacers appeared in control throughout the game but the Celtics were always able to hang around within striking distance. The Pacers only led by seven at the half and pushed the lead to 14 late in the third quarter, but the C's kept grinding away and then shut down the Pacers in the fourth quarter.

Indiana only scored 13 points in the fourth, but none after Paul George scored the Pacers final points on a three-pointer with 4:36 remaining in the game. PG's three capped an 11-point burst over a two-minute period, including eight straight by George Hill. So, yeah, in the other 10 minutes of the fourth quarter the Pacers only had two D.J. Augustin free throws to show for their efforts at the offensive end.

Credit Boston's defense for mucking up the Pacers half-court offense, especially Avery Bradley working through ball screens up top. Bradley, by the way, entered the game shortly after PG's last bucket in the fourth to spearhead Boston's defensive effort down the stretch.

The Pacers normally solid defense, fell victim to a lack of communication and a couple of backdoor cuts for buckets by Bradley and then the game-winner from Jeff Green. There was plenty of head shaking and an awareness of how they let a W slip away in the Pacers locker room after the game.

This game will serve as a constant reminder of what the Pacers need to do to succeed in the playoffs, so it is certainly better to learn that lesson in early March instead of late April. Think this was a big win for Boston? Just ask Paul Pierce.

Check out the links:

Celtics at Pacers - Box score and highlights

Game Rewind: Pacers 81, Celtics 83 | THE OFFICIAL SITE OF THE INDIANA PACERSGame Rewind: Pacers 81, Celtics 83 | THE OFFICIAL SITE OF THE INDIANA PACERS

Communication Key in Loss to Celtics | THE OFFICIAL SITE OF THE INDIANA PACERS

Pacers surrendered the final 11 points in 83-81 loss to Celtics | Indianapolis Star | indystar.com

Jeff Green layup caps improbable Celtics comeback against Pacers, 83-81 - Sports - Boston.com

Pacers can ill afford anymore setbacks with Granger | 1070 The Fan – Opinion & Analysis

Green, Bradley come through in win over Pacers | Comcast SportsNet - CSNNE.com

Pacers notebook: 'Above-average soreness' in Danny Granger's knee neither good nor bad, according to coach Frank Vogel | Indianapolis Star | indystar.com

Green: 'I wanted the ball' | Comcast SportsNet - CSNNE.com

Jeff Green hits game-winning layup, completes Celtics improbable comeback (VIDEO) | ProBasketballTalk

Celtics Rally, Beat Pacers 83-81 in Game of the Year - CelticsBlog

Post-Game Grades: Pacers Can’t Shoot, Execute and Choke Away a Game to Celtics | 8 Points, 9 Seconds

Green's layup completes rally, Celtics beat Pacers - AP

Slicing and Dicing Pace Numbers | Hickory-High

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