Rondo's triple-double lifts Celts to 10th straight win

BOSTON -- The way Rajon Rondo played, there was no way the Boston Celtics could lose to the Indiana Pacers again.

Rondo notched his first career triple-double and Ray Allen scored 31 points, leading the Celtics over the Pacers, 114-96 on Wednesday night for their 10th straight victory.

"He was amazing," Kevin Garnett said. "It was like there was three Rondos. I looked up and it came off the rim and he is grabbing a rebound, then I got back on defense and he beat me back. He was everywhere tonight."

Rondo scored 16 points, grabbed 13 rebounds and handed out a career-high 17 assists. Garnett added 26 points and 14 rebounds for the Celtics, who matched their longest winning streak since their 2007-08 championship season, a 10-game run from Feb. 24-March 12.

"We had a great incentive," Paul Pierce said. "They beat us last time and they beat the Lakers last night."

Boston broke open the game in the third quarter with a 26-8 run over the first nine minutes, with Garnett and Allen combining for 14.

Danny Granger led the Pacers with 20 points, while Troy Murphy chipped in with 10 points and 10 rebounds.

"They really had too many weapons for us tonight," Pacers coach Jim O'Brien said. "They're awful difficult to beat. That's why they're the world champs."

Rondo, who also added three steals, secured his triple-double with 10:32 remaining in the third quarter after he grabbed two offensive rebounds and followed with a nifty pass to Garnett for an easy layup.

"[Allen] Iverson, (Nate) Archibald and Isiah (Thomas) are all little guys who could score," Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. "Rondo is more of a playmaking point guard with the rare combination of speed and quickness. It is a perfect fit for this team because we have so many great scorers."

The Pacers chipped away at an 85-61 deficit with 2:44 remaining in the third quarter after Granger nailed a pair of 3-pointers and Murphy completed a three-point play to cap off a 21-5 run, cutting the lead to 90-82 with 8:54 remaining in the fourth.

Boston responded with a 10-0 run to put the game out of reach as Indiana failed to post consecutive victories over the NBA's top two teams. The Pacers edged the Los Angeles Lakers 118-117 Tuesday. "What went wrong? Everything man, everything," Pacers guard Marquis Daniels said. "We didn't do a good job of doing anything right tonight."

The Pacers beat the Celtics on Nov. 1, handing Boston one of its two losses while forcing the Celtics into a season-low 34.6 percent shooting and a season-high 24 turnovers. The Celtics' only other loss since then came at home to Denver on Nov. 14.

Rondo did the majority of his damage in the first half with 10 points, eight rebounds and nine assists, leading Boston to a 57-51 halftime lead.

Trailing by seven, Boston closed the first quarter with a 7-0 run for a 28-27 lead. The Celtics beat Indiana for the sixth time in seven home games.

Boston hosts Portland on Friday. The Trail Blazers come in with a six-game winning streak.

Indiana, which has dropped eight of 11, travels to Cleveland on Friday before a rematch with the Celtics on Sunday, finishing what appears to be its toughest stretch of the season.

Game notes
Tony Allen missed the game for Boston with a sprained ankle. ... Indiana's opponents have averaged 114 points over the last four games. ... Mike Dunleavy has missed 17 games already this season, which is more than his previous six years combined. ... Kendrick Perkins had 16 points and 10 rebounds for Boston.