Crawford's big night can't save Celtics

Crawford's big night can't save Celtics
November 22, 2013, 11:15 pm
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Jordan Crawford drives to the basket against the Indiana Pacers.

(AP Photo)

BOSTON — As players warmed up prior to the game, Jordan Crawford did his part. Then he took a seat on the bench, soaking it all in, thinking about how he would approach playing against an Indiana Pacers team that was tops in the NBA.

Crawford, for the first half at least, rose to the occasion in scoring a team-high 24 points for the Celtics.

But his big-time scoring heroics were not enough as the Pacers took control in the third quarter and put it away in the fourth with a 97-82 win whose final score was a lot more decisive than how most of the game was played.

It was the best scoring game Crawford has had in Celtics uniform. But like most of his teammates, there was no sense of accomplishment or feel-good vibes to be found.

That's how it is when you lose six in a row with a schedule that only increases the degree of difficulty with each passing day.

"Just made shots tonight, that's all," Crawford said. "Nothing bigger than that."

But the potential for this to have been a special night for him and the Celtics, was evident.

In the first half, he had 19 points on an array of pull-up jumpers and drives to the basket.

He could not have capped off his first half of play any better than knocking down a near half-court 3-pointer as the horn sounded, the kind of walk-off shot that shows just how red-hot he was from the field.

But in retrospect, that horn did more than just signal the end of the half.

It essentially put an end to what was an exceptional night for Crawford.

"Anybody who has gotten on a roll like that that's ever played will tell you halftime's the worst thing that can happen," said Celtics head coach Brad Stevens.

Crawford was never the same in the second half, taking just four shots from the field - he made all eight of his field goal attempts in the first half.

And while the Pacers made some adjustments in their pick and roll coverage that may have been a factor in Crawford's lack of shot attempts in the second half, he says his inability to score had more to do with himself than the Pacers defense.

"I'm very disappointed in myself," he said. "It was nothing they did. I don't think it was nothing they did. I just didn't complete the game."