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Pacers 132, Nets 112: Caris LeVert, Joe Harris Lead Nets in Loss to Indiana

A late burst in the first half gave the Indiana Pacers the separation they needed against the Brooklyn Nets, who trailed throughout the second half in a 132-112 loss on the road Saturday night.

Spencer Dinwiddie's drive had the Nets within 97-90 early in the fourth, but back-to-back threes from Doug McDermott and Bojan Bogdanovic pushed Indiana's lead back to 13 points. With the Nets still trailing by 10, Indiana's 13-0 run put the game away.

Caris LeVert didn't quite match his huge nights from Brooklyn's first two games, but he still led the Nets with 19 points on 8-of-9 shooting that left him shooting 65 percent from the field (26-40) through three games.

Joe Harris matched LeVert's 19 points, making five of six 3-point attempts. D'Angelo Russell had 12 points, seven assists and six rebounds.

"Just the force and physicality and strength you have to have to come on a back-to-back," said Nets coach Kenny Atkinson, "and I felt those guys led by (Victor) Oladipo, he affected the game on both ends, to compete on that level on a back-to-back. We've got to get there. We competed for a while and then we shrunk."

DEEP SHOOTING

The Nets had taken 57 3-pointers over their first two games, below the volume coach Kenny Atkinson typically likes to see. But they fired away early against the Pacers, with Harris, LeVert, and Dudley combining to knock down four threes in the first five minutes. They finished up 16-37 (43.2) percent, their second night in a row making 40 percent of their threes after Friday night's 12-30 shooting against the Knicks.

But the Pacers were even stronger from deep. Last season Indiana was just 26th in the NBA in 3-point attempts despite being ninth in percentage. They only took 24 threes in the win, but they hit 16 of them for a 66.7 percentage. Oladipo had three of those triples on the way to a game-high 25 points for the Pacers.

RODI ROLLS ANKLE

After scoring 11 points in Friday night's win against the Knicks, rookie Rodions Kurucs put together a strong effort on Saturday night until a turned ankle forced him from the game in the second half.

With Treveon Graham out after straining a hamstring Friday night, Kurucs got an early call and went on to score 12 points with six rebounds, shooting 2-of-5 from 3-point range and 5-of-9 overall.

With Rondae Hollis-Jefferson out for personal reasons, DeMarre Carroll out indefinitely and Graham sidelined as well, it left the Nets thin at the four spot, but Kurucs helped make that less of an issue until he left the game.

Atkinson said x-rays on Kurucs' ankle were negative.

"Rodi plays hard," said Atkinson. "There's some good and some bad tonight. He goes everything full out and I love his energy. I like that he's shooting the catch and shoot. We'd like him to be open. He took a couple of contested ones."

Kurucs' fellow rookie Dzanan Musa, veteran forward Kenneth Faried and rookie two-way contract signee Theo Pinson each saw their first action for the Nets late in the fourth quarter.

SECOND QUARTER SWINGS

Down 45-36, the Nets put together a 14-3 run with threes from Allen Crabbe, Kurucs, Harris and LeVert, the last putting Brooklyn up 50-48. Two threes from Russell made it a 56-53 Nets lead.

But the Nets were outscored 13-2 the rest of the quarter, including an 8-0 Indiana run into the half after a Jarrett Allen layup had kept the Nets within 59-58 at the two-minute park. Brooklyn's final four possessions of the half went missed three, turnover, turnover, turnover, while Oladipo scored six of the Pacers' final eight points to give himself 18 at the half and the Pacers a 66-58 lead.

"I thought we lost our discipline defensively at the end of the second quarter," said Atkinson. "Where it could have been a manageable game, now it's 10 points. You go into the locker room down 10 and it's not enough against their team."

UP NEXT

The Nets have two road games, in Cleveland on Wednesday and New Orleans on Friday, before playing their second home game against the defending champion Golden State Warriors on Sunday, October 28.