The turning point of Tuesday night’s matchup between the Boston Celtics and Indiana Pacers was… when Andrew Bynum entered the game?
As crazy as that statement sounds, it’s 100 percent accurate. Bynum, who hadn’t played in a game since Dec. 26 when he was with the Cleveland Cavaliers, changed the tenor of this contest in his first appearance as a Pacer.
Indiana entered Tuesday’s action having lost four consecutive games, and it certainly looked that way over the first seven-plus minutes of this game. The Pacers came out of the gates struggling. They missed seven of their first 12 shot attempts while committing four fouls and two turnovers over the first seven and a half minutes of the game. They didn’t look good, and they’d be the first to admit that.
When Bynum entered the game with 4:22 left in the first quarter, all of that changed.
The 7-footer looked as if he had two months of basketball balled up inside of him. He took the court and took Indiana’s play to another level with his energy and hustle. He dunked a bucket home and grabbed a rebound in his first four possessions on the floor. He finished the first quarter with four points on 2-of-2 shooting to go along with a game-high five rebounds.
With Bynum’s energy blowing their sails, the Pacers began to find their way. They shot 4-of-7 from the field while he was on the floor in the first quarter and jumped ahead by as many as six points.
That six-point lead certainly wasn’t maintained for the remainder of the night, but Indiana’s energy level was. The Pacers looked like a different team after Bynum sparked them in the first quarter. They played from ahead for the remainder of the night and took home a 94-83 victory.
Key Box Score Line
Indiana didn’t play great basketball on Tuesday night but it snuck by Boston thanks to a big night from ol’ reliable, David West.
West, who is in his third season with the Pacers, scored a game-high 24 points against the Celtics. Eight of those points were scored in the fourth quarter, including Indiana’s final six of the game. West shot an incredible 11-of-13 from the floor on the night.
Boston was able to limit the big man’s rebounding total but that wasn’t enough to limit his impact on the game. West grabbed four rebounds but also contributed three assists, a steal and a blocked shot on top of his game-high scoring total. Indiana outscored Boston by 13 points while he was on the floor.
Box Score Nuggets
- The Celtics scored 35 fewer points than they did Sunday night against Detroit.
- Boston had more players, five, score in double-figures than Indiana did (four).
- The Pacers blocked four shots to Boston's one, thanks in large part to Roy Hibbert's two swats.
- Rajon Rondo dished out a game-high eight assists while also scoring eight points.
- The Pacers (54.8 percent) nearly outshot the Celtics (35.2 percent) by 20 percent from the field.
- David West scored a game-high 24 points on 11-of-13 shooting.
- Nearly half of Boston's 41 total rebounds were grabbed at the offensive end, as they tallied 20 offensive boards.
- Jared Sullinger accounted for seven of those offensive boards, while Kelly Olynyk contributed five.
- Sullinger scored a team-high 17 points.
- Chris Johnson came off the bench to match a season high with 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting.
- Paul George scored only 12 points on the night while committing a game-high five turnovers.
- No player on Indiana's team dished out more than four assists.
- Andrew Bynum, in his first game with Indiana, grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds.
- Each team had two players score in single-digits.
- Kris Humphries tossed in 15 points and grabbed nine rebounds for Boston.
Quote of the Night
We shot 35 percent and we're down two or three with three or four minutes to go. Pretty good effort by our guys. We're 16-to-10 assist-to-turnovers, we got 20 offensive rebounds. Everything went great except the ball going in the basket, and that's OK. I feel like we're getting better. I really do. Brad Stevens on Tuesday night's game and his team's progressionMore quotes >>