Paul George Boosts Pacers Over Celtics

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The Boston Celtics didn’t show up in the second half of the game against the Indiana Pacers Friday night.

The Pacers went into the locker room at halftime down by eight points but surged back for a 97-82 victory to improve on their best record in the Eastern Conference.

Boston had 16 turnovers in the second half, which turned into 23 points for Indiana.

“Our starters, as a unit, have a gear defensively that they can reach that’s pretty special,” Pacers coach Frank Vogel said. “They hit that in the third and took control of the game.”

The Pacers put a clamp on Jordan Crawford after he made all eight of his field goal attempts and scored 19 points in the first. He finished the game with 24.

“I think probably I was lackadaisical,” Crawford said, “disappointed in myself, didn’t complete the game.”

Crawford committed six of Boston’s turnovers and also shot a lower field goal percentage in the second half.

“We passed the ball too much,” Celtics coach Brad Stevens said. “That probably had a lot to do with our shot selection.”

Paul George led the Pacers with 27 points, 22 of which came in the second half.

“Whatever the circumstance is in the first half,” George said, halftime “is the time for us to re-evaluate what’s going on.”

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