The Celtics returned to the .500 level with a 94-87 win over the Pacers on Friday night at the Garden. The win capped off a remarkable week for the Celtics who swept two games from the Magic and beat a Pacers team that had dealt them two crushing defeats on the second night of a back-to-back. The Celtics have now won four games in a row and five of their last six since starting the season with a 4-8 record.
They opened up an eight-point halftime lead thanks to a tremendous defensive effort, but with the score tied at 46-all in the third quarter, Paul Pierce shifted into high gear making five of six shots as the Celtics regained control of the game. Pierce scored 17 of his 28 points in the third quarter and had yet another huge game with 10 rebounds and eight assists.
Mickael Pietrus added 13 points starting in place of Ray Allen and Brandon Bass had 12 and six rebounds starting in place of Jermaine O'Neal. Rajon Rondo and Keyon Dooling also missed the game because of injuries.
The Celtics also received contributions from Chris Wilcox -- 14 points and six rebounds and the other bench players: E'Twaun Moore, Marquis Daniels and Sasha Pavlovic added 10 points, five rebounds and four assists.
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