BOSTON -- The Celtics responded from Wednesday night's worst home loss of the season by snapping an ugly two-game losing streak with a 122-103 triumph over the Indiana Pacers Friday night at the Garden.
Four of Boston's five starters scored in double-figures even though none of them played in the fourth quarter.
Paul Pierce led the Celtics with 20 points on 7-of-12 shooting. Rajon Rondo had 16 points and 11 assists, and Ray Allen added 13 points. Not to be outdone, Kendrick Perkins reached double digits in scoring for just the second time since Feb. 26 with 10 points and 7 rebounds.
The Celtics contained Indiana superstar Danny Granger (16 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists), but Roy Hibbert registered 23 points and Troy Murphy recorded 17 points and 10 rebounds.
Before the game the Celtics said they were looking for answers. Boston coach Doc Rivers said that he thought long and hard about tinkering with the Celtics' starting lineup. But in the end, he chose to go with his normal group, and they didn't disappoint.
Pierce broke out of his shooting slump. He had been averaging just 12.9 points per game since Feb. 1. Rondo continued his hot shooting streak and facilitated the offense to near-perfection. And Boston's bench was as good as ever. Led by Nate Robinson (15 points, 5 assists) and Glen Davis (15 points), Boston's bench outscored Indiana's bench, 54-38.
It was a complete game by the Celtics, who have been struggling to consistently put together complete 48 minute games since December.
The Celtics are now 116-36 since the beginning of the 2007-08 season with their regular starting five in the lineup.
The Celtics broke open a close game late in the first quarter when Marquis Daniels knocked down a turnaround 10-foot jumper that gave Boston a 26-23 lead with 48.6 seconds remaining in the first quarter.
Robinson then stole the ensuing inbounds pass and buried a 3-pointer that gave Boston a 29-23 cushion.
The Celtics carried that momentum into the second quarter, and throughout the rest of the game. Boston outscored Indiana, 38-24, in the second quarter to take a 67-47 lead into the locker room at halftime.
Boston was never in danger of losing its lead after that as Boston put on a show for the sellout crowd of 18,624.
It was the type of game that Boston fans have come to expect from the Celtics, who returned to their brand of play.
The Celtics knocked down 58.4 percent of their shots while limiting Indiana to 48.6 percent shooting.
More to come...