TROY MURPHY
Produced the fifth double-double in his last seven appearances with 21 points and a season-high 17 rebounds, making 7-of-10 shots including 4-of-5 from the 3-point line, adding two blocked shots and a steal in 28 minutes.
Name Min. +/- Name Min. +/-
Marquis Daniels 24:59 +6 David Harrison 8:16 +4
Travis Diener 26:07 +10 Troy Murphy 27:42 +9
Ike Diogu DNP --- Jermaine O'Neal DNP ---
Mike Dunleavy 41:05 +6 Andre Owens DNP ---
Jeff Foster 12:02 -5 Kareem Rush 25:48 -1
Stephen Graham DNP --- Jamaal Tinsley DNP ---
Danny Granger 35:55 +1 Shawne Williams 16:13 +12
Flip Murray 21:53 -2
  • Points in the paint: Nets 46, Pacers 34
  • Fast-break points: Pacers 24, Nets 22
  • Second-chance points: Nets 10, Pacers 8
  • Points off turnovers: Pacers 12, Nets 11
  • Starters scoring: Nets 94, Pacers 89
  • Bench scoring: Pacers 34, Nets 21
  • The Pacers held the Nets to 8-of-24 shooting (.333) in the fourth quarter, 0-of-6 from the 3-point line, with only three baskets in the first 11 minutes of the period.
    After a rare weekend off, the Pacers return to action Monday in Conseco Fieldhouse against the downtrodden Miami Heat (7 p.m., FSN-Indiana, 1070 The Fan).
  • Audio: Jim O'Brien's postgame press conference
  • Season plus-minus rankings
  • Recap | Box score
  • Indiana 123, New Jersey 115
    Defense earns Pacers split with Nets

    By Conrad Brunner | March 28, 2008


    For much of the year, it has been a common source for criticism. With the season on the line, it earned the praise. Shutting down the Nets in the fourth quarter with one of their best defensive performances of the year, the Pacers pulled away to beat New Jersey 123-115 Friday before 13,282 on Sixth Man Night in Conseco Fieldhouse.

    "I thought our defense won the game for us," said Coach Jim O'Brien. "We really sat down and took pride in keeping the ball in front of us (in the fourth quarter). Our guys really took ownership of the defense."

    Holding a perilous 92-91 lead entering the fourth quarter, the Pacers limited the Nets to three baskets in the first 11 minutes of the quarter, and then made their free throws down the stretch to keep their playoff hopes alive.

    WHAT IT MEANS

    The Pacers (30-43) and pulled one game behind the ninth-place Nets (31-42), who nevertheless hold the tiebreaker because of a better record against Eastern Conference teams. The Pacers remained 2½ games out of eighth place as Atlanta (32-40) beat Chicago 106-103.

    TURNING POINT

    The first was marked by major swings. The Pacers opened 16-9, but the Nets responded 12-2. The Pacers opened the second quarter with a 16-2 run to build a 49-35 lead but the Nets finished the half on a 28-7 run as Devin Harris exploded for 16 points to take a 63-56 lead into the second half. With Troy Murphy hitting a pair of 3-pointers, the Pacers scored the first 10 points of the third period to regain the lead. Mike Dunleavy scored the first five of the fourth to spark a 10-2 run that gave the Pacers a 102-93 lead midway through the period but the offense went dry and the Nets closed it o 104-102 with 3:35 remaining.

    But the Pacers got good shots on their next two possessions with Marquis Daniels posting up Marcus Williams while the Nets hoisted tough, well-guarded shots – a quick three by Richard Jefferson and a no-chance drive in traffic by Vince Carter. Kareem Rush's 3-pointer made it 112-104 with 1:19 left and forced the Nets to foul. The Pacers made 11-of-14 from the line in the closing seconds.

    HIGHLIGHTS

    Murphy showed what the Pacers missed in Wednesday's loss in New Jersey, racking up 21 points and a season-high17 rebounds in just 28 minutes. Danny Granger scored 26 with seven rebounds and six assists and Mike Dunleavy scored 19, making 5-of-6 from the arc. Daniels had 14 off the bench, while Rush scored 11 with five assists and Flip Murray scored 12. Two reserves too ill to make the morning shootaround, Daniels and Travis Diener, played the entire fourth quarter, with Diener finishing with nine points and five assists. The Pacers shot 14-of-25 from the 3-point line and committed just 10 turnovers. The Pacers held the Nets to 8-of-24 shooting in the fourth quarter, including 3-of-17 in the first 11 minutes. After rolling up 63 points in the first half, the Nets were held to 52 on 18-of-48 (.375) shooting in the second.

    LOWLIGHTS

    After posting a career-high 15 assists against the Pacers Wednesday, Harris this time scored a career-high 27 points (with nine assists). Carter scored 33 but was 10-of-26 from the field. Richard Jefferson scored 19. Josh Boone had another big game with 15 points and 16 rebounds, while Marcus Williams scored 15.

    LOWLIGHTS

    Jermaine O'Neal was not in uniform for the Pacers. He said after the morning shootaround he'd be more likely to return Monday against Miami.

    PACERS COACH JIM O'BRIEN
    Listen to Coach O'Brien's postgame press conference

    “We defended at really high level the second half. I thought our defense won this game for us. It was a much needed win and our guys did what needed to be done, to come back from seven down at the half. We continue to shoot the ball really well from the three point line."
    (On Troy Murphy) "We really missed him the other night. He’s playing at a really high level.”
    PACERS FORWARD DANNY GRANGER
    “The second half is when we really got to them. We came out with a lot of energy and jumped on them and stayed on them."
    (On what other teams are doing) "We don’t worry about what other teams are doing. We want to win our way in, so we have to just keep playing hard and winning. I’ve got to put a handle on my fouls. I can’t afford to get into foul trouble the way I have. We’ve just got to get out there and keep pounding and I think we’ll be alright.”
    PACERS FORWARD TROY MURPHY
    “We were really embarrassed at the IZOD Center the other night, so we figured we’d have to pick it up and strengthen our game tonight. They are very good at the high low screens and picks, so we knew we were going to have to work hard. We must continue to play at this level and not let up. On the next two or three days, we need to relax, keep our game faces on and get ready for the rest of the season. We will take them game by game.”
    NETS COACH LAWRENCE FRANK
    “Murphy was a big game-changer for them. We took some questionable shots. We put a lot of pressure on our offense. We just have to do better. Every game we are out to win. Devin (Harris) was great. He set a great tone for us. I thought Devin was really, really good. You just search for a combination. They had a real good rhythm and pace. We have to give credit to Indiana.”
    NETS GUARD VINCE CARTER
    (On the fourth quarter) "We didn’t make shots. They got us rushing a little bit but we just didn’t make the plays that we needed to make in order to win. Every loss now is as magnified as every win. The difference from the other night was we didn’t defend like we need to. It comes down to our defense sometimes being good, sometimes not so good.”
    NETS FORWARD RICHARD JEFFERSON
    (On what happened in the fourth quarter) "We did not do a very good job down the stretch. They hit a lot of shots…we just didn’t do a very good job. Every loss at this time of the year is big, just like every win is big. This was just another team in the hunt. It’s going to come down to the very last game of the season. I thought we controlled pretty much most of this game until the fourth quarter. You can’t score 120 and hold them to 115 one night and everything’s good and the next game they score 120 and you score 115. That’s not acceptable. We have to be more consistent.”