Pacers end Celtics’ two-game win streak
INDIANAPOLIS — Forward David West scored a game-high 24 points to lead the Indiana Pacers to a 94-83 win over the Boston Celtics on Tuesday night and halt the Pacers’ season-worst losing streak.
Pacers forward Paul George and guard George Hill each added 12 points for the Pacers (47-17), who avoided their first five-game losing streak in more than two years.
Forward Jared Sullinger led Boston (22-42) with 17 points. Center Kris Humphries added 15 points as the Celtics lost for the first time in three games.
Indiana 7-foot center Andrew Bynum made his Pacers debut and packed a punch from the start. He replaced starting center Roy Hibbert with 4:21 left in the first quarter and within a minute produced a roar from the crowd by delivering a dunk after a pass from guard-forward Evan Turner.
Bynum, who was acquired as a free agent on Feb. 1, had a basket, rebound and assist in a 10-2 run that gave Indiana a six-point lead. He finished with eight points and a game-high 10 rebounds.
Bynum, a member of the 2009 and 2010 Los Angeles Lakers’ championship teams, began the season with the Cleveland Cavaliers. He was traded to the Chicago Bulls on Jan. 7, then was cut the next day. Since joining the Pacers, he has been rehabbing his injured knees.
Pacers guard Lance Stephenson, who had scored just one basket in more than three quarters, helped Indiana put this one away. After the Celtics pulled to within one point in the fourth quarter, Stephenson scored three baskets in less than three minutes. His hot hand fueled an 11-4 Indiana run that put the Pacers up 88-80 with 2:22 remaining.
The Pacers, who lead the NBA in team defense but had struggled in that area through their season-worst four-game losing streak, got back to playing strong defensively against the Celtics. They allowed just 40 points in the first half and held the Celtics to 35 percent shooting from the field in the game.
Notes: Pacers center Andrew Bynum was activated for the first time since Indiana acquired him as a free agent on Feb. 1. His activation by coach Frank Vogel comes at a time when backup center Ian Mahinmi was kept out of action with a bruised left rib. ... Pacers guard C.J. Watson missed his fourth straight game with a sprained right elbow. ... Since returning to the Boston lineup on Jan. 31 after missing more than a year with a torn ACL, guard Rajon Rondo has averaged 8.8 assists per game. He had 18 assists on Sunday in a 118-111 win over Detroit. ... Celtics guard Avery Bradley missed his 12th consecutive game with a sore right ankle. He did not make the trip to Indy.