INDIANAPOLIS -- The Boston Celtics proved to the Indiana Pacers that they won't be a pushover if the two teams play in the first round of the playoffs.
Kevin Garnett found Jeff Green for a layup with 0.5 seconds left to lead the Celtics to an 83-81 victory over the Pacers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Wednesday.
George Hill tried to throw a lob to Paul George at the rim, but Paul Pierce blocked the pass. The Celtics closed the game on an 11-0 run over the final 4:36.
Garnett led the Celtics with 18 points and 10 rebounds. Center Roy Hibbert had 12 points, 12 rebounds and six blocks for the Pacers.
The Pacers and Celtics could face each other in the first round of the playoffs.
The Celtics completed their comeback when Pierce set a back screen on David West and Garnett, who had the ball straightway, zipped the pass to the wide-open Green underneath the basket. That was the first time Boston had the lead since being up 13-10 with 7:15 left in the first quarter.
The Pacers flat-out blew the game. They went on an 8-0 run, scored all by point guard Hill, to go up 81-72.
The Celtics used a 7-0 run, including a 3-pointer from Pierce, to get back to within two with 2:14 left. Boston had a chance to tie but Hibbert blocked Green's shot. The Celtics finally tied the score at 81-81 when Garnett found Avery Bradley wide open underneath for a layup.
The Celtics held the Pacers to 36.4 percent shooting, including 22.2 percent on 3-pointers.
NOTES: Pacers small forward Danny Granger is out at least a week with soreness in his left knee. An MRI didn't show any new damage. Granger missed the first 55 games of the season with problems to his knee. He averaged 5.4 points on 28.6 percent shooting in the five games he appeared in. "We want him to get back to 100 percent and this is the best way to do that," Pacers coach Frank Vogel said. Rookie Orlando Johnson and veteran Sam Young will get Granger's minutes on the wing. ... The Celtics are 13-4 record since All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo went down with a season-ending knee injury. ... The Celtics don't play zone defense, but it worked on one possession against Philadelphia on Tuesday, so they decided to continue to play it. "It's really a matchup zone more than a college zone," Boston coach Doc Rivers said. "We switch everything but we guard the ball. In a college zone, they stand there with their arms up. You can't do that in our league. There are a lot of changes and you've got to be really alert to do it."