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Boston Celtics

Pacers deal Celtics sixth loss in last seven games

  • Boston Celtics center Kris Humphries (43) and Indiana Pacers center Roy Hibbert (55) vie for a rebound during the first half of an NBA basketball game on Saturday, March 1, 2014, in Boston. (AP Photo/Mary Schwalm)

    Boston Celtics center Kris Humphries (43) and Indiana Pacers center Roy Hibbert (55) vie for a rebound during the first half of an NBA basketball game on Saturday, March 1, 2014, in Boston. (AP Photo/Mary Schwalm)

  • Boston Celtics point guard Jerryd Bayless (11) shoots against the defensive efforts of Indiana Pacers shooting guard Lance Stephenson (1) during the first half of an NBA basketball game on Saturday, March 1, 2014, in Boston. (AP Photo/Mary Schwalm)

    Boston Celtics point guard Jerryd Bayless (11) shoots against the defensive efforts of Indiana Pacers shooting guard Lance Stephenson (1) during the first half of an NBA basketball game on Saturday, March 1, 2014, in Boston. (AP Photo/Mary Schwalm)

  • Boston Celtics small forward Jeff Green (8) reacts after hitting a 3-point basket as Indiana Pacers shooting guard Lance Stephenson (1) looks on during the first half of an NBA basketball game on Saturday, March 1, 2014, in Boston. (AP Photo/Mary Schwalm)

    Boston Celtics small forward Jeff Green (8) reacts after hitting a 3-point basket as Indiana Pacers shooting guard Lance Stephenson (1) looks on during the first half of an NBA basketball game on Saturday, March 1, 2014, in Boston. (AP Photo/Mary Schwalm)

  • Boston Celtics center Kris Humphries (43) and Indiana Pacers center Roy Hibbert (55) vie for a rebound during the first half of an NBA basketball game on Saturday, March 1, 2014, in Boston. (AP Photo/Mary Schwalm)

    Boston Celtics center Kris Humphries (43) and Indiana Pacers center Roy Hibbert (55) vie for a rebound during the first half of an NBA basketball game on Saturday, March 1, 2014, in Boston. (AP Photo/Mary Schwalm)

  • Boston Celtics center Kris Humphries (43) and Indiana Pacers center Roy Hibbert (55) vie for a rebound during the first half of an NBA basketball game on Saturday, March 1, 2014, in Boston. (AP Photo/Mary Schwalm)
  • Boston Celtics point guard Jerryd Bayless (11) shoots against the defensive efforts of Indiana Pacers shooting guard Lance Stephenson (1) during the first half of an NBA basketball game on Saturday, March 1, 2014, in Boston. (AP Photo/Mary Schwalm)
  • Boston Celtics small forward Jeff Green (8) reacts after hitting a 3-point basket as Indiana Pacers shooting guard Lance Stephenson (1) looks on during the first half of an NBA basketball game on Saturday, March 1, 2014, in Boston. (AP Photo/Mary Schwalm)
  • Boston Celtics center Kris Humphries (43) and Indiana Pacers center Roy Hibbert (55) vie for a rebound during the first half of an NBA basketball game on Saturday, March 1, 2014, in Boston. (AP Photo/Mary Schwalm)

Paul George scored 10 of Indiana’s last 12 points and the Pacers beat the Boston Celtics, 102-97, last night, two days after beating another of the NBA’s worst teams.

The team with the best record in the NBA had trouble with the Celtics, who have the fourth-worst record in the East. On Thursday night, the Pacers won, 101-96, over the Milwaukee Bucks, who have the league’s worst record.

George led the Pacers with 25 points, Evan Turner added 17 and Lance Stephenson scored 15. Indiana won its fourth straight game and eighth in its last 11.

Jeff Green had 27 points and Kris Humphries scored 18 as the Celtics lost for the sixth time in seven games.

The Pacers were helped when officials disallowed a 3-pointer by Rajon Rondo after they reviewed the play at the first stoppage after the basket, nearly two minutes later. They ruled that Rondo released the ball after the 24-second buzzer. That basket originally gave Boston a 93-90 lead with 4:37 left.

It was followed by two free throws and a reverse layup by George that put Indiana ahead, 94-93. Then the reversal changed the scored to 94-90 with 2:38 remaining and the Celtics never caught up.

Jared Sullinger’s two free throws made it 94-92 before George’s layup restored the Pacers’ four-point lead. Boston cut that to 96-94 on two free throws by Brandon Bass with 1:31 remaining, but George followed with a 3-pointer, making it 99-94.

Indiana increased the lead to 102-94 on two free throws by Stephenson and one by George before Green finished the scoring with a three-point play.

The Celtics scored nine of the last 11 points of the third quarter and took a 78-76 lead at the buzzer when Humphries dunked the ball after rebounding a missed shot by Sullinger.

Trailing 74-69, Humphries began the comeback with a 3-pointer on a layup and a free throw. Green and Humphries made jumpers, giving Boston a 76-74 lead with 3:28 left in the period. David West then tied the game with a foul-line jumper before Humphries’ quarter-ending dunk.

Indiana used an eight-point run to take a 51-41 lead with three minutes left in the second quarter. Luis Scola started the surge with a 13-footer, Turner followed with two jumpers and Roy Hibbert hit two free throws.

The Pacers led 55-45 before Chris Johnson’s 3-pointer cut the lead to 55-48 at halftime. The Celtics had a chance to draw closer, but Hibbert blocked Rondo’s shot with 29 seconds remaining.

NOTES

∎ Celtics swingman Gerald Wallace will miss the rest of the season with knee and ankle injuries.

∎ Celtics G Chris Babb played his first game after signing a 10-day contract.

∎ Celtics F Sullinger returned after missing three games with a concussion.

Heat 112, Magic 98

LeBron James’s switch to a clear mask didn’t hinder his shooting eye, and he had 20 points to help Miami earn its seventh consecutive victory.

At the NBA’s request, James dispensed with the black mask he wore Thursday when playing for the first time since he broke his nose. He missed only four shots, grabbed nine rebounds and had seven assists last night.

Dwyane Wade scored 24 points and Chris Bosh 20 for the Heat, who shot 58 percent. Eleven players scored for the Heat, and their bench totaled 39 points.

The newer mask seemed to bother James more than the black one did, and he frequently took it off when the clock was stopped. But while it was a nuisance, it didn’t hinder his performance.

Rockets 118, Pistons 110

Terrence Jones had 22 points and 10 rebounds, and Houston Rockets opened a big early lead and beat Detroit for its third win in four games.

Jones finished 10-for-15 from the floor as Houston shot 50 percent for the game, including 61 percent in the first half. Houston scored 41 points in the first quarter and finished 11-for-33 from behind the arc.

James Harden added 20 points and 12 assists, Patrick Beverley had 19 points and Dwight Howard chipped in 17 points and eight rebounds. Reserve Omri Casspi scored 16 points and Jordan Hamilton had 13.

Rodney Stuckey had 23 points on 10-of-17 shooting off the bench, and Josh Smith added 21 points for the Pistons, who dropped their fourth straight and seventh in eight games.

Wizards 122, 76ers 103

Trevor Ariza made eight 3-pointers and scored a career-high 40 points to help Washington win its sixth straight game.

Ariza made all six 3-point attempts in the first quarter for 24 points and finished 14-for-23 from the floor overall.

The 76ers lost their 13th straight game on the night they retired Allen Iverson’s No. 3. Iverson had his number sent to the rafters, fit between Maurice Cheeks’s No. 10 and Charles Barkley’s No. 34.

The Sixers had a rare sellout of 20,856 for Iverson’s triumphant homecoming. The fans, though, saw the same old sorry Sixers.

Ariza had plenty of help for a Wizards team making a run in the Eastern Conference. John Wall had 17 points and 16 assists, and Marcin Gortat had 13 points and 14 rebounds.

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