The Pacers have lost five straight games - more than doubling their longest losing streak in the first three months of the season - after winning four of their previous five. They have not lost six in a row since February 2-15, 1993, when coach Isiah Thomas was playing for the Detroit Pistons.
Thomas suspended Artest for at least Wednesday’s game. According New York Post Artest grabbed a framed picture and smashed it against the locker room wall. It is the third suspension this season for Artest. He was banned three games by the league for throwing a television monitor and camera following a loss to the New York Knicks on January 5.
On January 29, Artest was suspended another four games by the NBA for making contact with Miami Heat coach Pat Riley, taunting the opposing team and making an obsence getsure to the fans.
Indiana is still tied with Central Division-rival Detroit for the best record in the Eastern Conference.
After completing a winless four-game road trip, the Pacers were handed an 83-73 loss by the Washington Wizards on Tuesday.
Reggie Miller scored 25 points and Jermaine O’Neal had 16 and 15 rebounds as the Pacers played without starting point guard Jamaal Tinsley, who did not play due to a family illness. Artest started Tuesday despite a sore right elbow but had just eight points on 3-of-17 shooting, including 1-of-9 from 3-point range.
Boston opened a three-game homestand with a 101-95 overtime loss to the Houston Rockets on Monday.
Boston has lost two of its last three games and is 17-10 at the FleetCenter this season.
The Pacers and Celtics have split two meetings this season, with each winning on their home floor. Boston has won four of the last five games against Indiana.