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Preview: Nets vs. Pacers

NETS VS. PACERS:

The Brooklyn Nets take on the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday night at Barclays Center. This is the second meeting of the season between the Nets and Pacers. Tip-off is at 7:30 p.m. on YES.

LAST TIME OUT:

The Nets fell to the Pacers 104-97 in Indiana on Dec. 18. Brooklyn led 77-72 after three, but an Indiana surge in the fourth quarter proved to be the difference. Jarrett Jack was the Nets’ top performer, scoring a team-high 26 points, along with nine rebounds, six assists, three steals and two blocks.

INDIANA CAN’T KEEP UP THE PACE:

After a hot start to the season – including a scorching 11-2 record in November – the Indiana Pacers have fallen off in the last month and a half. The Pacers are 9-14 since their first meeting with the Nets on Dec. 18 and haven’t won three consecutive games since Dec. 14-18.

The drop-off is being felt in the standings, as the Pacers were leapfrogged by the Detroit Pistons on Monday and currently sit eighth in the Eastern Conference, two games ahead of the Charlotte Hornets.

LARKIN WITH THE ASSIST:

Shane Larkin had a career-high 14 assists in Monday’s loss to the Detroit Pistons. Larkin’s 14 dishes were also the most of any NBA reserve this season. The backup point guard also led the team with six rebounds on Monday and teamed up with Andrea Bargnani, earning assists on six of the Italian’s field goals. Bargnani finished the game with 18 points, four boards and one assist, dishing to Larkin.

“I have to use my speed and quickness to my advantage,” Larkin said. “Not a lot of guys have my speed and quickness. I’m not the tallest guy, so I’m not going to shoot over people or back people down or whatever, so I have to get by in getting a lane and creating.”

CURIOUS GEORGE:

It’s no surprise that Paul George is one of the NBA’s top 10 scorers, dropping 23.2 points-per-game. What is a surprise is that the Pacers forward has been held to 11 points in two of his last three games, though George gets the benefit of the doubt after a one-on-one matchup with LeBron James on Monday.

George had a big game against the Nets in December, scoring 23 with 10 rebounds, three assists and a steal. He leads the Pacers in scoring, rebounds and steals, but also has the distinction of leading the team in turnovers with 3.7 per game. He had seven in his last game against the Nets and that could be an area for Brooklyn to try and exploit on Wednesday.

WILLIE REED QUESTIONABLE:

Willie Reed (tight left groin) is listed as questionable for Wednesday’s game, after being a partial participant in practice on Tuesday. Reed has not played in three straight games for the Nets.