INDIANAPOLIS – The Boston Celtics played like a championship-caliber team for the final 12 minutes Tuesday night, and that was enough against the up-and-coming Indiana Pacers.

Indiana led for all but a few minutes in the first three quarters, but Boston outscored the Pacers 29-16 in the fourth, holding them to 26 percent shooting for a 95-83 victory.

“We just kept playing defense,” Celtics Coach Doc Rivers said. “Then all of a sudden our shots started falling and our defense stayed.”

Paul Pierce scored 21 points, Ray Allen added 17, and Kevin Garnett had 11 points and 13 rebounds for Boston.

Point guard Rajon Rondo missed his fifth straight game with a sprained left ankle. The Celtics improved to 4-1 without him and maintained the best record in the Eastern Conference.

The Celtics were coming off an 86-78 loss at Orlando on Christmas that ended a 14-game winning streak.

“You always want to get back on track, especially after a tough loss,” Pierce said. “All of these road games are tough, no matter who you’re playing because teams are comfortable.”

Glen Davis scored 14 points and Marquis Daniels added 12 for the Celtics. They combined for eight points and two assists during the 13-2 run to start the fourth quarter that put the Celtics in control for good.

Daniels entered with the Celtics trailing 60-53 in the third quarter. He used his height advantage against Indiana’s 6-footers Darren Collison and T.J. Ford.

“The game turned around when they went to a big (point) guard and were able to post up (Ford) and (Collison),” Pacers Coach Jim O’Brien said. “That slowed the tempo and got them back in the game.”

Allen, who scored 10 points in the fourth quarter, was impressed with Daniels.

“He did a great job tonight, not only offensively but guarding their point guards,” Allen said. “He was able to keep us under control, and he did a great job in the fourth quarter.”

Brandon Rush led the Pacers with 17 points. Danny Granger scored 15 but shot 5 of 21 from the field.

“We just crowded him,” Rivers said. “He just missed some good shots, too. He’s just a tough cover. You really want to just fight him off his spot and make him take tough shots.”

The Pacers had gotten off to a promising start this season, but have lost consecutive home games to Memphis and Boston.

“When you lead good teams like we did tonight and you let them make a run at you, you’re not going to be able to hang in there with them,” Granger said.