INDIANAPOLIS — David West scored 24 points and Andrew Bynum grabbed a season-high 10 rebounds in his Pacers debut, helping suddenly struggling Indiana pull away late for a 94-83 win over Boston on Tuesday night.
Indiana (47-17) ended its longest losing streak of the season at four. Paul George added 12 points as the Pacers extended their Eastern Conference lead to 1 1/2 games over two-time defending champion Miami in the East.
Boston (22-42) was led by Jared Sullinger with 17 points and Kris Humphries with 15 as its two-game winning streak ended.
Bynum played just 15 minutes but his first basket gave Indiana a 16-14 lead and the Pacers never trailed again.
Boston, which trailed by as much as 15 in the third quarter, twice got within one in the fourth. But the Pacers answered the second time with a 6-0 run to make it 83-76 and the Celtics never threatened again.
Bynum gave Indiana an infusion of energy that it desperately needed on a night George was in foul trouble and Lance Stephenson was off the mark.
Through 2 1/2 quarters, Stephenson and George had combined for just four points.
Bynum, on the other hand, finished with eight points and one assist in his first action since late December. And the fans, who had been waiting since Feb. 1 to see No. 17 on the court, gave him a rousing ovation when he entered the game with 4:22 left in the first quarter.
It didn’t take Bynum long to prove he can still play.
He started with a dunk, breaking the 14-14 tie, on a post-up move. That spurred an 8-2 run that gave Indiana a 22-16 lead.
Indiana led 24-20 after one and took advantage of a 13-2 run late in the second quarter to build a 47-33 lead with 2:22 left in the half.
Boston closed to 49-40 at the half and after trailing 65-50 late in the third rallied against the NBA’s best home team. The Celtics closed the quarter on an 11-4 run to get within 69-61 after three, then scored the first five points of the fourth quarter.
Sullinger’s 3 with 6:45 left made it 77-76, but West hit a 21-footer to start Indiana’s decisive 6-0 run. Boston couldn’t get closer than six the rest of the way as Indiana pulled off its first four-game season sweep of the Celtics since 1997-98.
Pistons 99, Kings 89
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — Josh Smith scored 24 points and Rodney Stuckey added 23 to lift the Detroit Pistons to a victory over the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday night.
Andre Drummond added 15 points and eight rebounds for Detroit, outscoring DeMarcus Cousins in a matchup of two of the NBA’s top young big men. Cousins had 13 points and 14 rebounds but shot 5 of 15 from the field.
Detroit trailed 54-52 at halftime, but outscored the Kings 20-11 in the third quarter.
Rudy Gay scored 20 points and Isaiah Thomas added 19 points and eight assists for Sacramento.
The Pistons snapped a three-game losing streak and pulled to within three games of Atlanta for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
The Pistons will need a strong finish to make the postseason, and they’ve shown little sign of one. But they put the Kings away with impressive starts to the third and fourth quarters.
Detroit began the third on an 8-0 run thanks to a dunk by Drummond and 3-pointers by Smith and Brandon Jennings. An alley-oop from Smith to Drummond on the break made it 69-60.
It was 72-65 after three, and Detroit started the fourth with six straight points.
The Pistons won despite a rough shooting night from their two point guards. Jennings and Will Bynum combined to go 5 of 24 — although they did finish with 13 assists between them.
Cousins dunked on Drummond early in the game, giving the Kings a 12-6 lead, but the Pistons kept him under control for the most part. Drummond blocked a shot by Cousins out of bounds later in the first quarter.
Greg Monroe, who was drafted two spots after Cousins in 2010, had six points and 12 rebounds for Detroit.