INDIANAPOLIS — With the Boston Celtics overhauling their roster, the Indiana Pacers overcame poor shooting and an inspired opponent to register a 107-103 overtime victory on Friday night in Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
Boston guard Avery Bradley forced overtime with a 3-pointer from the left corner with four seconds remaining in regulation, tying the score at 94 and capping a comeback from a 13-point deficit in the fourth quarter.
The Celtics (12-22) took a 103-102 overtime lead on guard Evan Turner’s basket with 1:46 remaining, but Boston did not score again. Pacers forward David West, guard/forward CJ Miles and guard C.J. Watson were a collective 5 of 6 from the free throw line during the final 31.2 seconds.
Before Friday’s game, the Celtics completed a trade with Phoenix that sent forward/center Brandan Wright to the Suns for future conditional first-round draft pick that was acquired from Minnesota, and then Boston leading scorer Jeff Green (17.6 points) was pulled from the starting lineup in anticipation of a probable trade to the Memphis Grizzlies.
But Boston regrouped after a slow start, getting a game-best 23 points from Bradley.
Center Roy Hibbert led Indiana (15-23) with 19 points, 11 rebounds, four assists and five blocks.
Miles added 17 for the Pacers, who shot only 37 percent from the field (34 of 92). Watson scored 15 points, forward Luis Scola had 14 and West finished with 11.
Forward Brandon Bass added 17 points for the Celtics, center Kelly Olynyk scored 13 and Turner had nine points and 15 rebounds.
Boston was 41 of 103 from the field (39.8 percent). Indiana outrebounded the Celtics, 56-50.
While neither team shot well during the first 24 minutes, Indiana weathered a 2-of-10 start from the floor and steadily built a 46-37 halftime lead, fueled in large part by 13 points, five rebounds, two assists and two blocks from Hibbert.
Miles had nine first-half points on three 3-pointers, and Watson added seven points and three rebounds.
Indiana limited Turner and Bradley, Boston’s starting guards, to a combined 2 of 13 from the field in the first half when the Celtics made only 16 of 46 shots from the floor (34.8 percent). Forward Jared Sullinger had eight points to pace Boston in the first half.
Indiana was 18 of 50 from the field during the first 24 minutes (36 percent). The Pacers outrebounded the Celtics 30-25 in the opening two quarters.
NOTES: The Pacers are without G George Hill (left groin strain) and G/F Paul George (fractured right tibia/fibula). … The Celtics are loaded with Indiana connections on the roster and the coaching staff. C Tyler Zeller is from Washington, Ind. Head coach Brad Stevens attended DePauw University in Greencastle, Ind., and was the head coach at Butler in Indianapolis before taking the Boston job. Assistant coach Walter McCarty is from Evansville, Ind., and assistant Micah Shrewsberry is from Indianapolis and was an assistant at Purdue before joining the Celtics’ staff. … Zeller entered the game shooting 62.3 percent from the field, third best in the NBA. … Coming off a four-game road trip during which it went 2-2, the Pacers begin a four-game stretch in which they play three times in Bankers Life Fieldhouse. … Boston snapped what had been a four-game losing streak to Indiana with a 101-98 victory on Nov. 7 in Boston. … Indiana entered as the NBA’s best defensive team, allowing 96.6 points per game. … The Celtics entered as the league’s seventh-highest scoring team at 102.6 points per game. … Boston’s 25.4 assists per game rank second in the NBA. … The teams will meet again on March 14 in Indianapolis and for the final time on April 1 in Boston.
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