Pacers cream Celts in Stevens’ return

No fairytale for ex-Butler coach Brad Stevens this time. Not much to say here except that the Pacers were too big, too strong, too good for Stevens' Celtics, running away with a 106-79 drubbing that actually felt more dominant than the final score suggested.

Paul George led the way with 24 points and 5 rebounds, while Roy Hibbert did his damage early in finishing with 15 points and 12 boards, snapping a bit of a mini-slump (though Roy has always been a matchup scorer anyway). Lance Stephenson recorded his third triple-double of the season with 12, 10 and 10 — no other NBA player has had more than one triple-double this season.

Every Pacer apart from Donald Sloan scored tonight. Danny Granger, in his second game back, had 12 points on 4 three-pointers (in 5 attempts, 8 attempts overall) in 25 minutes of play, to go with 5 rebounds. He still looks a step slow, especially on defense, so right now he's not much more than a spot up shooter waiting at the three-point line. But even then, he's better than the available alternatives, and I can't wait to see how this Pacers team will look once he rounds into form. Larry Bird said in a recent interview that he's not looking to trade Granger but will listen to offers, though I doubt there will be many teams knocking on the Legend's door. So what this means is that Granger will likely finish up the season a Pacer.

The 22-5 Pacers will have a good opportunity to afford Granger the time he needs, with the next 10 of their 11 games coming from teams with losing records (the lone exception being Atlanta). They start tomorrow night in Brooklyn.

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