BOSTON – Kevin Garnett scored 18 points before he was ejected for a flagrant foul in the fourth quarter, and the Boston Celtics snapped a four-game losing streak by beating the Indiana Pacers 94-75 on Friday night.
Rajon Rondo added 18 points, seven assists and five rebounds for Boston, which had lost eight of 10 to fall a season-worst three games below .500. Garnett also had seven rebounds.
You could tell we needed this win, and that’s how we came out tonight, Garnett said after Boston held the Central Division-leading Pacers to a season-low 31.8 percent shooting. We needed a win. Tonight was the night to stop the bleeding. I felt like we did that.
Tyler Hansbrough scored 19 points and David West and Roy Hibbert had 10 rebounds apiece for the Pacers. The Central Division leaders had won six of seven and nine of 11.
The Celtics used a 17-3 run in the second quarter to take control of the game. There was plenty of intensity, though, with the Pacers drawing three technical fouls before Garnett was given a Flagrant 2 foul for flailing at Hansbrough in the fourth quarter, hitting him in the face.
Paul Pierce scored 13 for the Celtics, and rookie Jared Sullinger had seven points and 10 rebounds before fouling out for the fourth time in seven games.
The Celtics trailed 20-19 early in the second when they scored 17 of the next 20 points to open a double-digit lead.
BULLS 96, HEAT 89: In Miami, Carlos Boozer scored 27 points and Chicago dominated on the boards to become only the third visiting team to win in Miami this season.
Chicago outrebounded Miami 48-28.
The Bulls had 20 second-chance points to seven for the Heat.
The Eastern Conference-leading Heat fell to 15-3 at home. Their other home losses came against the Knicks and Warriors.
Miami’s LeBron James scored 30 points, extending his streaks of scoring at least 20 points to 31 consecutive games this season, and 52 games in a row overall when including last year’s playoff run.
KINGS 105, RAPTORS 96: In Toronto, DeMarcus Cousins scored a season-high 31 points and matched his career high with 20 rebounds as Sacramento won its second straight road game.
PISTONS 85, HAWKS 84: In Auburn Hills, Mich., Austin Daye had a season-best 20 points as Detroit won its fourth in row.
CAVALIERS 106, BOBCATS 104: In Charlotte, N.C., Kyrie Irving scored 33 points, including a pull-up jumper from the foul line with 1 second left, to lift Cleveland, which snapped a three-game losing streak.