The Indiana Pacers let another W slip from their grip in regulation and went on to lose to the visiting Boston Celtics in overtime, 122-117.
With a 105-102 lead, the Pacers failed to secure what would've been a game-winning rebound of a rare miss by Ray Allen. Instead, Eddie House tracked down the miss and found Paul Pierce who shot through two Pacers applying pressure to his face.
The Pacers had seven seconds and pushed the ball through the chaos to try and find a game-winner. But Jarrett Jack passed up his initial look and then with no time to pass, put up a contested shot that didn't go. With .8 seconds left the Pacers had one more prayer after the Celtics threw their attempt away without using any clock. But Jack missed the fade away desperation and the W officially melted into an overtime loss.
Little things ended up haunting the Pacers throughout. They didn't turn it over a ton, but they did early and had a few bad donations in overtime. They made more free throws than the Celtics (hooray!) but missed three in overtime while slipping behind. They were only out rebounded by the Celtics 44-39, but when the long rebound of Allen's missed three was in the air, the littlest Celtic scooped it up.
You can look at the numbers and the effort and say the Pacers outplayed the talent-laden Celtics. But they have to outplay them to win and along with it take care of all the little things. All things being even, the C's will usually win this matchup. But when the Pacers are outplaying them like tonight, all things are even and those little things will be the difference and they were tonight.
- Jarrett Jack had a big night off the bench playing most of the second half and 32 minutes total. He finished with 17 points, including 9-10 free throws, four of which were huge down the stretch in regulation. That fade away game winner would've capped a fabulous night, but instead, frustration. Jack's work on defense certainly kept him in the game and he played beside T.J. Ford in the late game situation.
- Marquis Daniels had a big offensive night with 26 points and even passed up a couple of threes to push the ball in the lane for a couple of pretty runners. He did make one 3-ball but he once again proved his offense shouldn't expand past 18 feet.
- Danny Granger made some big shots late in the fourth, but pressed when trying to put the game away and missed a few couple of shots. Tough night for Danny with 20 points on 22 FGAs. Dejected doesn't begin to describe Granger after the game in the locker room. Despondent is a little closer. He sounded tired of answering questions about learning from close losses to better teams.
- Ray Allen and Paul Pierce were unreal when the game was on the line. In fact, their effort deserves a separate post after the dust settles from this one.
- Off the bench, Stephen Graham and Josh McRoberts showed up well. Graham played for about 13 minutes at a +6 clip with 8 points and 3 rebounds. McRoberts brought a lot of energy at both ends of the floor in his nine plus first half minutes. McRoberts was on the floor when the Pacers worked themselves back even with the Pacers and ended up +5 while he was on the floor.
The Pacers head out on the road beginning with Jermaine O'Neal and Toronto on Wednesday. This will be a tough road stretch, but as Quisy mentioned after the game, the Pacers are used to tough games no matter where they are played at this point. No excuses.