Jeff Green's lay-up with a half-second left finished a 14-point rally by the Boston Celtics Wednesday night over the Indiana Pacers 83-81 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
Kevin Garnett found Green all alone under the basket with the score tied at 81. Green caught the ball to the left of the basket and went up for the game-winning shot over Paul George on the right side.
"Just didn't make enough plays. I think their last four points were...Avery Bradley got one, he snuck around back door and then Jeff Green did the same thing. Just no communication. We just weren't solid enough," David West said of the closing minutes.
Garnett had 18 points and 10 rebounds to lead Boston, who hadn't led since midway through the first quarter. The Pacers had led by as many as 14 points in the third quarter, but couldn't close the deal.
"Part of the lesson you learn throughout an 82-game season is that, when in the playoffs, you know you gotta execute offensively down the stretch and we didn't do that well enough tonight," said head coach Frank Vogel.
"Nights like this, this was a great opportunity for us to prepare for the playoffs. To slip up and not be able to take this one and take care of this win, we want to nip this in the bud, so it's good we talked about it (in the locker room)," said Danny Granger.
George led the Pacers with 16 points. All five starters finished in double figures in points, including Roy Hibbert, who tallied his 14th double-double of the season with 12 points and 12 rebounds.
The Pacers won't practice on Thursday, but will travel to Florida for a double-dip playoff rematch, Friday at Orlando, then Sunday against the Miami Heat.