Friday, April 12, 2013 at 7:00 PM EDT at Bankers Life Fieldhouse

Game Preview: IND vs BKN

Scott Agness | April 9, 2013

Matchup

Before heading northeast for their final two road games of the regular season, the Pacers host the Brooklyn Nets, the team that’s just below them in the Eastern Conference standings and winners in their last three games. This will be Brooklyn’s second game of a three-game road trip that concludes in Toronto Sunday.

After changing their location and look last offseason, the Nets are playoff bound for the first time in five seasons. They have won 22 road games, a new franchise record. As December winded, poor results piled up – they were 14-14 – the Nets fired head coach Avery Johnson and P.J. Carlesimo took over on an interim basis. Since, they have gone 32-18 and are in prime position for home court advantage in at least the first round of the playoffs.

The Pacers have a three game lead on the Nets and with a win, they’d ensure finishing no lower than third in the Eastern Conference.

Brooklyn is a three-headed monster of Brook Lopez, who scored 25 on Indiana last meeting, Deron Williams and Joe Johnson. Over his last ten games, Lopez has averaged almost 22 points per game and he’s also elevated defensive play. Anchored by the center in his fifth season, the Nets have the second-best efficiency rating in the paint, according to hoopstats.com. They outscore opponents by 7.2 points, below first-place Utah.

The backcourt of Williams (18.7 points, 7.7 assists) and Johnson (16.3 points) has the chance to be special but it has definitely taken some time. Williams, a gold medal winner this past summer with Team USA, is coming off a 29 point, 12 assist night in a win in Boston. For the fourth straight game, George Hill has the challenge of going against an elite point guard.

As for the Pacers, it’s about finding a rhythm again at both ends. Their shooting percentage has been down, partly attributable to fatigue, but they’ll need all the firepower they can get against a determined Brooklyn squad.

Ian Mahinmi missed Thursday’s practice with a stomach bug and George Hill was held out because of a strained groined. Frank Vogel expects both to be able to play.

Probable Starters

George Hill

George Hill

Lance Stephenson

Lance Stephenson

Paul George

Paul George

David West

David West

Roy Hibbert

Roy Hibbert

Deron Williams

Deron Williams

Joe Johnson

Joe Johnson

Gerald Wallace

Gerald Wallace

Reggie Evans

Reggie Evans

Brook Lopez

Brook Lopez

Injury Update

Pacers: George Hill (probable, strained groin), Ian Mahinmi (day-to-day, illness), Danny Granger (out for the season, left knee)
Nets: Keith Bogans (out, tight lower back)

Quotable

"We’re just not playing sound offensive basketball. [We’re] not getting player movement, not getting player movement, not making quick enough decisions, not having screening urgency, not slipping out of screens, and playing for each other. It’s a lot of things. We got back to it and had a offensive based practice [Thursday]." – Frank Vogel on the areas of concerns recently

"Well I hope I’m back to where I want to be. I slipped a little bit. I think that fourth quarter kind of rejuvenated me to where I know that ball can go in now. I’m ready. It’s the end of the season, so it’s a perfect time for me to try and tighten things up.” – Paul George on his offensive game

"We got to contain their wings ... Then, we’ve got also got to take care of [Brook] Lopez." – David West

Noteworthy

  • With a win, the Nets would sweep the Pacers for the first time since the 2006-07 season.
  • The Nets have scored 100+ points in each of their last nine victories.
  • The Pacers have lost both meetings this season.
  • Paul George and Brook Lopez both made their first appearances in the NBA All-Star game in February.
  • Brooklyn is 5-0 this season in games that have went into overtime.

Last Meeting

After winning 15 straight home games, the Pacers dropped their second game in a row at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, 89-84. The Pacers were up by four with 1:38 remaining but then missed their last four shots in regulation. Brooklyn improved to 4-0 in overtime games this season, led by 25 points from Brook Lopez.

George Hill finished with 22 points, six assists and no turnovers. Jeff Pendergraph recorded the first double-double of his career, registering a season-high 14 points and 10 rebounds. Paul George was limited to just five points on 1-of-10 shooting. It was ultimately a tough shooting night for the Pacers, as they missed 12 of their last 14 shots over the final 6:38 of the game (including overtime).

Broadcast Information | Find Local Listings »

TV: FOX Sports Indiana – Chris Denari (play-by-play), Quinn Buckner (analyst), Brooke Olzendam (sideline reporter/host)
Radio: FM 107.5/AM 1070 The Fan, Pacers Radio Network - Mark Boyle (play-by-play), Slick Leonard (analyst), Kevin Lee (sideline reporter/host)

Ticket Information

Tickets are still available for the Pacers-Nets game on Friday, April 12 at 7 PM. Find Tickets »

Next Home Game

Tickets are available for the Pacers' final home game of the regular season on April 17 against the Philadelphia 76ers at 8:00 PM. The game marks Fan Appreciation Night as well. Find Tickets »

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