Game Rewind: Pacers 124, Nets 92
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Dunleavy, Hibbert break out as Pacers roll Nets
By Conrad Brunner
It all came back to the Pacers Friday night. The ball was moving, players were moving, Roy Hibbert was in the middle of everything in the low post and Mike Dunleavy was firing away from the perimeter.
Whether it proves to be a springboard to better things remains to be seen but in any event it was a much-needed feel-good victory as Indiana rolled to a 124-92 rout of the defenseless New Jersey Nets before 11,337 at Conseco Fieldhouse.
Dunleavy scored 30, his biggest game since scoring 31 in the Nov. 9 blowout of Denver (144-113). Hibbert scored 20, his biggest game since scoring 24 in the upset of the Lakers in Los Angeles on Nov. 28.
And the Pacers tied their second-biggest offensive output of the season and second-best shooting night (.625) while rolling to their most lopsided victory of the season.
The Pacers snapped their six-game losing streak and improved their record to 17-26 overall, 11-11 at home. They also beat the Nets for the fifth straight time. New Jersey had won four of five coming in, all at home, but dropped its 10th in a row in the road, falling to 14-33 overall, 3-22 on the road.
- “I thought we had great tempo, great ball movement, great player movement. We did a nice job of taking care of the ball. Roy really had a terrific game and Mike was the star of the game." – Pacers coach Jim O'Brien
- “It was no fun losing six in a row. We know that we can win, we know that we have to come out strong, move the ball, play D and find a way to win. We want to be aggressive and make better decisions on all occasions. I think tonight is the beginning and we just need to work, work, work.” – Dunleavy
- “I wanted to be aggressive, get down in the post and help my teammates out." – Hibbert
- "As Roy goes, we go. We need him down low, we need his big presence. We struggle when he is not playing well. Roy is a big key for us.” – Pacers forward Paul George
- "We sent him up to Chicago so we're hoping the antibiotics will work and he'll be ready to go tomorrow night. He wanted to play tonight but we're not letting him." – O'Brien on Tyler Hansbrough, who missed the game due to illness.
STAT OF THE GAME
The Pacers shot nearly as well from the 3-point line (a season-high .545 on 12-of-22) as they did from the free-throw line (a season-low .571 on 12-of-21).
The Pacers took control in the second quarter, using an 11-2 run sparked by a pair of 3-pointers and a layup by Dunleavy, to open a 60-46 lead. The Nets shot .526 in the first half largely because of Brook Lopez, who had 18 points on 7-of-10 shooting.
New Jersey offered up no challenge in the second half, getting only as close as 85-69 midway through the third but the Pacers quickly responded with a 13-2 burst, again fueled by Dunleavy, to push it to 99-71 and that was that.
BY THE NUMBERS
Dunleavy was 12-of-16 from the field and tied his career-high with six 3-pointers (in seven attempts), adding five assists and four rebounds to his 30 points in 31 minutes. Hibbert shot 7-of-12, adding six rebounds, two assists and two blocks to his 20 points. Danny Granger deferred to his hotter teammates much of the night but heated up in the second half and wound up with 18 points on 7-of-12 shooting, 4-of-6 from the arc. Paul George scored 15 off the bench, hitting 6-of-7 and adding three rebounds and three assists. The Pacers had 31 assists against just nine turnovers.
Lopez represented the Nets' sole offensive threat, racking up 28 points on 12-of-17 shooting but he pulled just one rebound and did not have an assist in 29 minutes. The only other double-figures scorer was Travis Outlaw with 12 on 4-of-10 shooting. Devin Harris had nine points and nine assists. The Nets shot .479.
- Jeff Foster pulled six rebounds off the bench, leaving him four shy of 5,000 for his career.
- The Pacers were missing two rotation players, as Tyler Hansbrough (pneumonia) and Brandon Rush (sprained right ankle) were out.
- Hansbrough was sent ahead to Chicago, where the Pacers play Saturday night, with designs on returning to the lineup.
- Inactive the past three games, Josh McRoberts started at power forward and produced seven points, five assists and four rebounds in 30 minutes.
- The Pacers outscored the Nets, 58-24 in the paint tonight, scoring its most points in the paint this season.
- This was the third straight game in double figures and the fourth straight game Paul George has led the reserves in scoring. In the last four games, he has shot 19-31 FG (.613).
- The Pacers have averaged 9.0 turnovers per game in the last four home games.
- Former Pacers forward Troy Murphy reportedly has asked for a trade from New Jersey and did not travel with the team.
The Pacers travel to Chicago to face the Bulls Saturday (8 p.m., Fox Sports Indiana, WIBC 93 FM).