INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana’s Roy Hibbert had no mercy on Boston’s depleted front line.

The 7-foot-2 center scored 26 points as the Pacers beat the Celtics 107-100 on Monday night and remained in sole possession of eighth place in the Eastern Conference playoff race.

Boston had already traded away Kendrick Perkins, and Shaquille O’Neal, Jermaine O’Neal and Troy Murphy were out with injuries, leaving the Celtics thin in the post.

The last thing Boston’s remaining posts needed was foul trouble, but they dealt with it for most of the game. Kevin Garnett finished with four fouls and only played 25 minutes, and Nenad Krstic finished with five fouls and played just 17 minutes. That left the 6-9 Glen Davis to defend Hibbert for much of the night. Davis tried to use his 290-pound frame to make Hibbert uncomfortable, but Hibbert made 12 of 17 shots.

It was the most points Hibbert has scored since tying a career high with 29 on Feb. 16. He had only scored more than 20 points once since.

“The kid works so hard, cares so much,” Pacers Coach Frank Vogel said. “He deserves all the success that he gets.”

Boston Coach Doc Rivers said the inability to defend down low turned the game.

“Kevin and Nenad were in foul trouble, and tonight, we need that extra big body,” he said. “Tonight, the foul trouble just killed us. It crushed us today.”

Danny Granger scored 18 points and Darren Collison added 17 for the Pacers.

The Pacers entered a game ahead of Charlotte and two ahead of Milwaukee for the No. 8 spot in the Eastern Conference playoffs. Charlotte beat Milwaukee on Monday, so the Pacers remained a game ahead of Charlotte and extended their lead over Milwaukee to three games.

Boston point guard Rajon Rondo started after missing Sunday’s game against Minnesota with a jammed finger on his right hand. Rivers said before the game that Rondo would not play, but Rondo scored 10 points in the first 5:10 and finished with 22 points and eight assists.

Paul Pierce led Boston with 23 points, and Davis added 20 for the Celtics, who have lost 7 of 12.

“We became a great team because we were known to do it for 48 minutes,” Garnett said. “We seem to be missing that right now.”

Monday’s game was tied in the fourth quarter before the Pacers made a run. Collison scored on a short jumper in the lane, then Hibbert found a cutting Brandon Rush to give Indiana a 98-94 lead. Collison then stole the ball from Rondo near halfcourt, and went up for an emphatic two-handed dunk to put the Pacers ahead 100-94. A putback by Hibbert pushed Indiana’s lead to eight with 3:52 to play.

Boston hung close, but Collison made a fadeaway jumper with 1:16 left, then made a driving layup with 34.4 seconds remaining to give Indiana a 106-100 lead.

Indiana shot 12 for 18 from the field in the fourth quarter.

“In the most important part of the game, the fourth quarter, we couldn’t get a stop right there,” Pierce said. “It’s a weird time to be talking about this, when there are nine games left in the season.”