Indiana is becoming a force to be reckoned with in the Eastern Conference. The Pacers have now beaten the Boston Celtics, a playoff caliber team, by double digits twice this season. On Saturday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse the Pacers rolled 97 to 83, led by Danny Grangers 21 points.
The Pacers took a 25-24 advantage off a Darren Collison jumper late in the first quarter and never looked back. The blue and gold led by as many as 20 points in what head coach Frank Vogel called a "barometer game for the team"
"We knew Boston was going to come in here mad, with an edge, they had lost 3 in a row. We knew we were going to get their best effort and I challenged them to exhibit their killer instinct and it showed up tonight," said Vogel who's led the team to their best overall start since 2003-2004.
The Pacers showed off Vogel's smash mouth menality of aggressiveness by scoring 42 points in the paint and snagging 52 rebounds. But, the Pacers also won this game by pushing the tempo with fresh players. The bench scored 23 of the Pacers 97 points.
"We like to keep the pace going because we have depth so we can push and push and push. A lot of teams don't have the depth we have to withstand that and it's been helping us," said Granger.
The effort has the Pacers riding a 3-game winning streak while improving to 5-0 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse for the first time since 2002 when they started the season with seven straight wins at home.
"We go into each game expecting to win. We play our type of basketball and that's what we hope to accomplish. We're 9 and 3 thus for so it's been working for us," said Granger.
The Pacers get a few days off before beginning a 3-game west coast road trip on Wednesday that includes contests against Sacramento, Golden State and the Lakers.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times