In the game of the summer so far, the Indiana Pacers rallied from a deficit that ballooned to 27 points in the second half to defeat the Boston Celtics, 86-85, behind Paul George’s reverse layup and-one conversion just before the final buzzer. Indiana trailed, 30-15, at the end of the first quarter and 58-31 at halftime, but surged in the second half, more than doubling-up the Celtics by a 55-27 margin. George scored 17 points, trailing only Magnum Rolle’s 19 for the team lead. Boston’s Jaycee Carroll scored 19 points off the bench to lead it.
The Celtics built their lead thanks in large part to Luke Harangody, who continued to impress with his ability to create offense for himself despite limited athleticism. He started the game by scoring nine points on four-of-six shooting, but fizzled in the second half, missing six of his nine shots; he finished with 16 points.
Indiana made its comeback on the defensive end, forcing an incredible 19 turnovers in the second half, and converting them into 26 points. Rolle and George recorded three steals apiece, with Russell Robinson and Marcus Landry grabbing two each and four other players tallying one each. The Celtics’ sloppiness did them in. Point guard Oliver Lafayette finished with six assists, but also had seven turnovers, five of them in the second half. He’ll need to reign that in if he hopes to play the point at the NBA level.
Rolle was the real star, with 11 rebounds to go with his scoring and stealing.
Pacers point guard Lance Stephenson, one of the best players all this week, played just eight minutes today. He fell to the floor moving without the ball in the first quarter and appeared to injure his left thigh or quadriceps. He received treatment on the sideline and did not return.