The Nets (20-25) lost to the Pacers (36-10) tonight by a score of 97-96.
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Five Nets players (Shaun Livingston – 24, Joe Johnson – 16, Paul Pierce – 15, Deron Williams – 13, Kevin Garnett – 12,) scored in double figures.
Brooklyn forced the Pacers into a season-high 22 turnovers to enable themselves to stay in the game all night.
The Nets were out-rebounded badly once again 46-27 after setting an NBA record last night with only 17 rebounds.
Paul George finished the game with 20 points on 7-of-16 shooting and grabbed eight rebounds for Indiana.
Shaun Livingston led the Nets in scoring with a season-high 24 points on 10-of-18 shooting and helped the Nets come back from large deficits all night long. He put on a show with his mid-range game and grabbed three rebounds and dished out two assists as well.
John Paolantonio, ContributorBrooklyn limped into Indiana late last night with their egos bruised along with Andray Blatche’s left hip so the team would be shorthanded without two of their big men coming off a butt kicking at the hands of the Oklahoma City Thunder as Andrei Kirilenko was left home with a sore calf.
The Nets responded well and came out with much more passion and defensive energy which led to a dogfight against the East’s top team. The fight that seemed to be missing in the Thunder game was back in full force for this one.
Mason Plumlee was forced into playing 19 minutes and held his own against the much larger Roy Hibbert with six points, four big blocks and three steals to really help the Nets when Garnett was out.
The game was anyone’s to win in the fourth quarter and the Pacers were able to hit their free throws and hold off the Nets in the final minute after Joe Johnson and Deron Williams both hit a huge 3-pointers to make it a one point game with just seconds to play.
The Nets wouldn’t have even had a chance in this one if it were not for Shaun Livingston’s excellent play as Williams was awful once again shooting 3-for-12 and dished out only six assists.
This game was the type where Brooklyn gave themselves a chance to win late in the game with scrappy play and the ball just did not bounce their way at all.
The passion and effort was there for the Nets but the Pacers managed to complete the series sweep 3-0.
Brooklyn will be back in action on Monday night when they host the Philadelphia 76ers. Tip is at 7:30 PM on YES.