On Monday night, the Nets defeated the Indiana Pacers by a final score of 89-84 in overtime.
The Skinny: Brook Lopez scored 10 of the Nets’ first 13 points, as Brooklyn set up quick offensive sets to combat the Pacers’ No. 2 ranked defense. Indiana’s defense improved slightly, but the team’s shooting was way off in the opening frame (6-of-25 from the field). The Nets led by seven after one.
Jeff Pendergraph’s outside shooting led to 10 points, which helped the Pacers tie the game halfway through the second quarter as part of a 15-5 run. Brooklyn native Lance Stephenson gave Indiana the lead later in the quarter. George Hill hit a buzzer-beating three-pointer to give the Pacers a five-point lead at the break.
Lopez picked up where he left off in the first half, which helped the Nets tie the game in the opening minutes of the third. Brooklyn then missed nine straight shots, but Indiana could not pull away. Joe Johnson hit a fade-away jumper to put the Nets back on top, and Brooklyn led by four after three.
The Nets’ second unit increased the lead to six, but the Pacers battled back to get within two at the 3:30 mark. Indiana followed with a 6-0 run to go up four. Trailing by three, Tyshawn Taylor made one of two free throws to cut the deficit to two with 38.3 seconds left. David West missed an opener jumper, and following a timeout, Johnson hit a tough running jumper to tie the game at 76 with 13.0 seconds to go. West was short on a jumper on the final possession, sending the game to overtime.
Taylor hit an off-balance jumper to put the Nets ahead by one after Roy Hibbert split a pair of free-throws. Taylor followed with another crazy shot to put Brooklyn up three. Hill made a shot, but Gerald Wallace knocked down a corner three at the other end, putting the Nets up four. Reggie Evans put back a Taylor miss to put the Nets up six with under a minute remaining. After free-throws at each end, Stephenson hit a three to get the Pacers within three, but Johnson hit two more free-throws to put Brooklyn up five with 15.2 to ice the game.
High Scorers: Lopez led all scorers with 25 points on 8-of-19 from the field, grabbed eight rebounds and made all nine of his free throws. For the Pacers, Hill led the way with 22 points on 9-of-18 shooting.
Key Stats: The Pacers turned in the worst shooting performance of the season against the Nets at 33-of-96 from the field (34 percent). The previous low mark came from the Orlando Magic at 30-of-83 (36 percent) on Nov. 11.
Who Was Hot: Evans pulled down a game-high 22 rebounds and added eight points. Wallace had a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds. Pendergraph scored a season-high 14 points and grabbed 10 boards for the double-double.
Who Was Not: Paul George shot just 1-of-10 from the field for five points and fouled out with a minute remaining in the fourth. Hibbert was cold around the rim at 5-of-18 for 12 points. He did have a double-double after grabbing 10 rebounds. West was 2-of-11 from the field for just seven points after missing most of the first half with an eye injury. C.J. Watson was ice cold from the outside at 0-of-7 from the field for one point and didn’t play in the fourth quarter or overtime.
Fun Fact: The Nets are now 4-0 this season in overtime games and have won a league-high nine straight overtime games.
Jim MancariWhat a wild game in Indiana! The Nets once led by 10 points but relied on a few unsung heroes in overtime to get this victory.
Taylor had his Nets’ coming-out party with a career-high 12 points. Sure, he made some rookie mistakes throughout the game, but he still filled in admirably for the injured Deron Williams.
Wallace was all over the court in this one. Not only did he record a double-double, but he played great defense on George, an All-Star. George came into the game shooting just under 57 percent in his career against the Nets – the highest percentage against any team he’s played.
Wallace spoke of playing a team game after the embarrassing loss Sunday night to the Spurs, and he certainly followed through on his words.
Lopez once again proved why he is an All-Star. He knocked down outside jumpers and cleaned up on the inside. Evans too was crucial on the boards in the one.
With the win, the Nets end a five-game losing streak to the Pacers and improve their record to 24-11 against Eastern Conference teams.
Brooklyn (30-22) has one more game before the All-Star break, a Wednesday night showdown with the Denver Nuggets at Barclays Center. The 7:30 p.m. game will be televised on the YES Network.
Jim Mancari is a Contributor to SNYNets.com. Follow him on Twitter @JMMancari.