Ben Couch · BROOKLYNNETS.COM
By Ben Couch
INDIANAPOLIS—Friday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, the Nets beat the Pacers, 117-109. Deron Williams caught fire in the second quarter, scoring 20 of his 33 points. He dished out 14 assists and shot 5-of-10 from three-point range (10-23 overall), complementing the inside game of center Brook Lopez who racked up 24 points on 10-of-16 shooting, along with four blocks. Joe Johnson (9-17 FGs, 4-8 3Ps) posted 24 for the Nets.
With the victory, Brooklyn clinches the East's No. 4 seed and homecourt in the First Round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs.
A few observations:
- 11:33 – Pullup 3 airball for Deron, and after an offensive rebound by Tyler Hansbrough, Paul George throws down a thunderous dunk. This is going down to the wire.
- 10:53 – Yet another baseline jumper for Jerry Stackhouse, who is 3-of-5 tonight, racking up six points in 14 minutes.
- 8:25 – Another miss for the Nets, who are 9-for-27 in the half. The Pacers D has been vicious this half. Nothing easy, and mostly nothing.
- 7:17 – Brook Lopez hangs with a drive by George, and pins his layup against the backboard. Five blocks.
- 5:38 – David West fallaway, and it's a one-point game. This ish cray.
- 5:00 – Deron misses a J, Pacers have a chance to go ahead, and do on a three by Lance Stephenson. Pacers first lead of the game.
- 4:28 – Stack ties the game with a pair of free throws, and the Nets are in the penalty.
- 3:51 – Yet another stone-cold three for Joe Johnson. I'm pretty sure he doesn't feel momentum.
- 2:56 – Paul George and Jerry Stackhouse trade threes. This is fun.
- 1:27 – Brook doesn't bite on any of Roy Hibbert's pump fakes, and contests his hook into a miss.
- 1:09 – Andray Blatche, playing alongside Lopez to close out the game, follows Deron's miss with a putback layup and the Nets lead by seven.
- :33.9 – Deron hits both free throws, and the eight-point lead is likely to stand. He's got 33, pending more freebies.
- 10:09 – Back-and-forth first few minutes, until Deron goes 3-Will and swishes while being fouled. He's having a good game. (<== Understatement)
- 9:06 – Reggie Evans just outright strips David West during a post-up attempt.
- 8:12 – Couple foul calls go against the Nets, and you can see frustration beginning to seep in.
- 6:46 – The Pacers hit a three out of a timeout and it's a 16-point game.
- 6:26 – 14. Turnover leads to a layup for Lance Stephenson.
- 6:03 – Joe Johnson hits a stone-cold three. Call that one the momentum killer.
- 5:38 – Reggie Evans gets tossed after throwing his headband. Chippy, and a blow to the Nets' D.
- 5:13 – Keith Bogans wraps up Stephenson on the break, and immediately begins yapping at Lance. They start bodying up and need to be separated. Double techs. Chippy, indeed..
- 4:51 – Another few possessions, another few points off the lead. George Hill's fast-break layup closes the gap to 11.
- 3:02 – After Lopez misses a runner, Roy Hibbert draws a foul, sinks both FTs and the lead is under 10.
- 2:43 – Another Nets turnover – their fifth of the quarter – and more free throws for the Pacers. Seven-point game.
- 2:10 – Paul George hits a triple, and these Indiana fans are IN IT. Four-point game.
- :38.9 – ISO for Joe, who pulls up and swishes a three to quell the momentum. Somewhat.
- :11.7 – After a turnover, Deron's able to draw an offensive foul on David West, preventing a score.
The Nets often establish Brook Lopez early, and with success, but Friday's first-quarter performance was particularly impressive: 14 points on 6-of-7 shooting, outshining teammates Joe Johnson (8 points, 2 assists, 2 steals) and Deron Williams (5 points, 5 assists). The Pacers closed to five at one point in the second, but D-Will caught fire and quickly broke open the game.
Williams hit 4-of-7 threes, eventually racking up 18 points in the quarter, totaling 23 for the half as the Nets hung 69 total on the NBA's best defensive team. The game has been chippy at times, with a few techs and physical play underneath exploring the referees' willingness to blow the whistle. The Pacers can clinch the East's No. 3 seed with a victory, so expect pride to kick in and push them to a strong start to the second half.
- 8:42 – Tyler hansbrough posts Andray Blatche and spins free for a dunk.
- 8:01 – Double foul on Hansbrough and Humphries. It's getting chippy.
- 7:07 – C.J. picks Hansbrough's pocket during a post-up, rockets into the Pacers' backcourt and converts a layup. Good sequence for him.
- 5:37 – Deron Williams waives away Andray Blatche.
- 4:35 – A three for Deron Williams, who has five straight Nets points.
- 3:31 – Though Brook broke up the streak with a jumper, Deron gets another one. Clearly feeling "it" right now.
- 2:29 – Lance Stephenson attempts to hard foul Reggie Evans. Lance Stephenson ends up on the ground, because even Reggie Evans knows hard fouling Reggie Evans is a bad idea.
- 1:02 –3-Will! Deron is doing his best impression of a twister and blowing the Pacers off the floor. 25 points; 20 this quarter.
- 12:00 – Reggie Evans bodies David West as they set up for tipoff.
- 11:47 – West fouls Evans. Irritant: Under the skin.
- 9:59 – Nets bench has a laugh when Reggie Evans successfully posts up and scores on Roy Hibbert. They enjoy aggressive Reggie.
- 7:02 – Lopez dunk in transition and the Pacers call timeout. Lopez is quite hot, and Nets are looking for him in the matchup against Hibbert.
- 5:02 – Joe, lined up 1-on-1 with Paul George, jabs, jumps and swishes the J.
- 2:55 – Lopez now 6-for-6 (14 points) after that bank shot. Overall, Nets shooting 12-of-16.
- 2:00 – Pacers switch to Tyler Hansbrough on Lopez, and Lopez faces him up in the post. Jumper rolls out. Interesting move by Indy.
- 1:05 – After a few straight transition layups by the Pacers, Brook gets back in time to swat Sam Young. Ball stays in play (a Lopez specialty) and C.J. Watson nails a pullup 3 in transition.
- :08.7 – Jerry Stackhouse catches in the corner, pumps fakes a closing defender into flying past, and smoothly sinks the jumper after stepping in. Veteran move.
Brooklyn Nets (46-33)
|G · Deron Williams||G · Joe Johnson||F · Keith Bogans||F · Reggie Evans||C · Brook Lopez|
Gerald Wallace (lower left leg contusion) is OUT.
Keith Bogans (tight lower back) is a GAMETIME DECISION.
Indiana Pacers (49-30)
|G · George Hill||G · Lance Stephenson||F · Paul George||F · David West||C · Roy Hibbert|
Danny Granger (left knee surgery) is OUT.
For more, view the Game Photo Gallery
|33 PTS, 14 AST, STL, BLK
10-23 FGs, 5-10 3Ps, 8-10 FTs
|24 PTS, 6 REB, 5 BLK
10-16 FGs, 4-6 FTs
|24 PTS, 6 REB, 4 AST, 3 STL
9-17 FGs, 4-8 3Ps
|"We're just happy we kept fighting, and I think we're going to finish the season the right way."|