The Pacers signed Andrew Bynum on Saturday for the remainder of the season, but the big man isn’t expected to join the team until some time this week.
The Pacers suffered their second home loss of the season on Thursday, falling to the Suns 102-94, but recovered two days later and never trailed in the second half Saturday in sending the Brooklyn Nets to a 97-96 loss.
Indiana’s incumbent big man, Roy Hibbert, and fellow All-Star Paul George scored 20 points apiece in the victory. Lance Stephenson and David West both filled the box score for a combined 31 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists.
They needed to overcome a season-high 24 turnovers and survived Paul Pierce’s potential game-tying 3-pointer in the closing seconds. All totaled, it led to a season-sweep for the Pacers over Brooklyn.
“It’s tough to beat a team four times in one season. With the talent they have, we knew it was going to be very tough,”Indiana head coach Frank Vogel said.
Orlando was denied in its bid for consecutive wins on Sunday afternoon in Boston. The last time the Magic won back-to-back games was Dec. 27-29 and since their record is a dismal 3-16.
Rajon Rondo had his best game since returning from an ACL tear and carried Boston down the stretch, helping the Celtics to a 96-89 win over the Magic.
“We stuck to our principles and what we wanted to do, he just came through for his team,” said Glen Davis about stopping Rondo. “Sometimes the nights are like that and as a team we just have to stick together and make sure that we can do something to help each other go out and do it.”
Arron Afflalo paced the Magic with 18 points, Davis had 15 and Nikola Vucevic finished with 14 points and 11 boards. With Jameer Nelson out with a sore knee, former Indiana University star Victor Oladipo started at point guard and struggled to a 3-for-16 shooting night.
Orlando has lost 11 straight road tilts and fell to 3-22 away from home this season.
Mercifully, the road trip ends on Monday for the Magic. They play their next four at home against the Detroit Pistons, Oklahoma City Thunder, these same Pacers and Memphis Grizzlies.
The Pacers have won three in a row against the Magic, including this season’s only matchup, a 97-87 victory in Indianapolis on opening night. The Magic have lost two straight as the visitor in this series, but they had won five in a row previous to the two setbacks.