Saturday, November 9th, 2013 at 7:30 PM ET at Barclays Center
Game Rewind: Pacers 96, Nets 91
Scott Agness | November 9, 2013
The Pacers (7-0) faced their toughest test yet Saturday night in Brooklyn. They had just played the night before, as had the new-look Nets (2-4), and they’d need to win at a place they failed to last season, the Barclays Center, to keep their perfect start intact.
Yet again, the Pacers trailed at half but 16 points from Paul George in the second half plus big foul shots late from both George Hill and David West allowed the Pacers to leave Brooklyn with the 96-91 victory. Their 7-0 start is the best ever in franchise history. The Nets, meanwhile, lost for the third time in four games.
Indiana jumped out to a 9-2 lead with contributions from three different players. Led by center Roy Hibbert, who had eight points and six rebounds while playing the first 12 minutes, the Pacers extended their lead to as many as nine. There was far too much dribbling and as a result, their offensive execution slowed in the final minutes. The Pacers made just two of their final 11 attempts in the quarter and saw their lead shrink to two points.
Second quarter lulls have been a theme for the Pacers this season and it was no different in this one – just not to the same extreme. An 11-4 spurt put to start the quarter put the Nets, the second-oldest team in the league, in front by three. Pacers coach Frank Vogel then turned to West, who scored on three straight possessions. The Nets shot 45 percent from the field in the first half and had a two-point advantage at the break.
Indiana’s offense was much sharper after intermission, which has become the norm. The ball was moving, passes were crisper and they were driving into the lane. They started the third period on a 16-5 run and outscored the Nets by seven in the period for a five-point lead after Joe Johnson buried a 3-pointer at the buzzer.
Less than five minutes to play, a big one-handed flush from Hibbert gave the Pacers a 10-point lead, their largest of the game. The Nets then scored seven unanswered, including a triple from Nets guard Deron Williams that bounced five times on the rim before falling through. Indiana got stops defensively but turnovers on consecutive possessions followed two straight misses.
Trailing by three with 20 seconds remaining, the Nets quickly sent the ball to Johnson and his deep shot was off the mark. David West corralled the rebound and after he was fouled, the veteran drilled both free throws at the other end to push their lead to five. Kevin Garnett threw the ball away and the Pacers’ winning streak lives on.
Yes, the Pacers’ record is still unblemished and tonight they beat a team whose starting five features five All-Stars, but more impressively, they were successful this week while playing four games in five nights.
Inside the Numbers
Paul George led all scorers with 24 points – his seventh straight game with at least 20 points, joining Clark Kellogg as the only Pacers players to do so in the first seven games of a season.
David West contributed 18 and Lance Stephenson, who was playing in his hometown, added 15 points and seven assists.
Deron Williams was 7-of-14 from the field, scored 17 points and had 10 dimes. Joe Johnson had 17 and Lopez chipped in 16. Kevin Garnett was just 3-for-7 for six points.
Points in the paint were even at 38 but the Pacers got the better of the Nets on the offensive glass, scoring 20 seconds chance points.
Brooklyn shot 46.1 percent in the game, a season-high for Indiana opponent. They had held their previous six opponents to an average of 37.7.
“That’s a big time win for our team, fourth game in five nights. To come into a building like this, playoff atmosphere, tough to win against a basketball team like this. I don’t care what Brooklyn’s record is, they’re going to be there down the stretch. They’re just beginning to gel, it’s a long season and this was a big time win. I’m very proud of our guys.” – Frank Vogel
“I really don’t get caught up in the historical value of our record; we’re ahead of the race. We’re trying to get the #1 seed and put ourselves in the best position come playoff time to come out of the East. That’s what I’m concerned about.” – Vogel on being 7-0
“Our defense is our staple. A team like Brooklyn, who has closers and lethal weapons at every position, you have to buckle down and not be weak at any spot.” – Hibbert
“I’m happy we came away with the win. Four games in five nights. I could be wrong, but I don’t think we’ve done that since I’ve been here and this is my sixth year in the league.” – Hibbert
“We understand how important the start of the year is for us. We’re just trying to play our style of basketball, obviously continue to improve on the offensive end which was a struggle for us last year, but things are just working.” – David West
Stat of the Game
Going against another premier center in Brook Lopez, Roy Hibbert finished with his first double-double of the season (15 points, 11 rebounds), along with two blocks.
- This Pacers win ends a streak of three consecutive losses to Brooklyn (all last year).
- Upset with his second personal foul, Nets forward Paul Pierce was T’d up in the first quarter.
- Nets forward Andrei Kirilenko missed the game due to back spasms.
- Jason Kidd coached against the Pacers for the first time. He concluded his 19-year NBA career last postseason against the Pacers while with the Knicks.
- NBA Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver was part of the sellout crowd (17,732) in Brooklyn.
Monday, Nov. 11 vs Memphis – 7:00 p.m. EST