BOSTON — The Boston Celtics played a sloppy second half and the Indiana Pacers made them pay.
Down by eight points at halftime, the Pacers charged back for a 97-82 win Friday night behind 27 points from Paul George to improve the best record in the Eastern Conference.
Indiana (11-1) trailed at halftime in nine of its games. Its latest comeback was helped by Boston's 16 turnovers in the second half, leading to 23 points.
"Our starters, as a unit, have a gear defensively that they can reach that's pretty special," Pacers coach Frank Vogel said. "They hit that in the third and took control of the game."
The Pacers shut down Jordan Crawford after he made all eight of his field goal attempts and scored 19 points in the first half. He finished with a season-high 24.
"I think probably I was lackadaisical," he said, "disappointed in myself, didn't complete the game."
Crawford committed six turnovers in the second half when Boston, which hit 59 percent of its shots in the first half, connected on just 40 percent.
"We passed (the Pacers) the ball too much," Celtics coach Brad Stevens said. "That probably had a lot to do with our shot selection."
Trailing 50-42 at halftime, Indiana outscored Boston 25-8 in the third quarter to take a 67-58 lead. It was the Celtics' lowest scoring quarter of the season, worse than the 11 points they had in the second period of a 93-87 loss to the Toronto Raptors on Oct. 30. The Pacers kept rolling with a 30-24 fourth quarter.
George had 22 points in the second half.
"Whatever the circumstance is in the first half," he said, halftime "is the time for us to re-evaluate what's going on."
David West and Luis Scola each had 17 points for Indiana, which had lost its previous four games against Boston. Lance Stephenson had 10 points, 10 assists, 11 rebounds and four steals.