Boston (22-26) at Indiana (34-13)

Partly Cloudy Currently: Indianapolis, IN
Temp: 29° F
  • Game info: 8:00 pm EST Sat Jan 31, 2004
  • TV: FSNE, FSMW
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Al Harrington won’t be sidelined after all.

The Eastern Conference-leading Indiana Pacers hope the 23-year-old forward can continue his strong shooting as they host the Boston Celtics at Conseco Fieldhouse.

The Pacers learned on Friday that Harrington has no structural damage in his sore right knee and isn’t expected to miss any time. The 6-foot-9 forward has been bothered by the knee since colliding with teammate Jermaine O’Neal before the season started.

Harrington felt pain in the knee during Wednesday’s 101-79 home victory over Phoenix, and thought his ailment might need minor surgery to clear up some scar tissue. But a review of the tests found no such damage, the team said.

Harrington is Indiana’s third-leading scorer (13.1), and is second in rebounding (6.7).

The sixth-year player has led the team in scoring the last two games, shooting 57 percent (17-for-30) while averaging 22.5 points.

He was 9-for-16 in Wednesday’s win, and finished with 24 points and six rebounds for the Pacers, winners of 13 of their last 16 games.

They have the second-best home record in the East at 18-5, but one of those losses came at the hands of the Celtics. Indiana has dropped 10 of the last 15 meetings with Boston, including getting ousted by the Celtics in five games in the first round of last season’s playoffs.

Boston is on a three-game losing streak following a 92-74 home defeat to New York on Friday.

Mark Blount scored a career-high 22 points with 11 rebounds, and Paul Pierce had 12 points for the Celtics, who shot just 32 percent, including 2-of-21 from 3-point range.

Pierce was 3-of-16 from the field, and has hit just 27 percent (13-for-48) in his last three games.

The Celtics are 0-2 under coach John Carroll, who took over on Tuesday after Jim O’Brien resigned.

“This wasn’t fun. It wasn’t pretty,” Boston forward Walter McCarty said. “This was definitely out of character for our team, but we can’t blame it on anything. No excuses.”

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Team Stat Leaders

Points
Rebounds
Assists