For the third consecutive game, the Indiana Pacers defeated their opponent by more than 15 points. Monday night’s sacrifice was none other than the much-ballyhooed Brooklyn Nets at the Barclay Center. The score of the game, 103-86, was not as impressive as the performances of both Paul George and Lance Stephenson for the second consecutive night. It was a road game for Indiana, but the result was much the same as it has been since the return of Danny Granger. The blue and gold owned the third quarter, as is their trademark this season, and the game was never really close after that. Indiana led by two after the first and by eight after the break.
In the first 4:50 of the third quarter, the Brooklyn Nets managed to score a total of four points on one field goal and two free throws. These points were scored by Kevin Garnett, and it was really a microcosm of how the entire night went for the Nets. The only time the Pacers were stopped in the third was when they stopped themselves with turnovers or personal fouls. George Hill really struggled in the quarter, picking up his fourth foul at the 3:08 mark. Yet, when it was all said and done Indiana managed to hang 30 points on the Nets in the quarter and led by 17 at the end of three.
Brooklyn looked good in the first, holding the Pacers to 19 points and managing to make a game of it for a while. They reminded why they were so highly thought of during the offseason and preseason. Unfortunately, reality set in and so did the injuries for the marquee starting lineup. It’s seasons like these that age veterans dramatically. Speaking of veterans, Paul Pierce played a very limited role in the game due to his ejection for a flagrant foul on George Hill in the third quarter. Pierce finished 0-of-7 from the field. Garnett was one of three Nets in double figures by the time the final horn sounded, with 12 points and five rebounds.
The dynamic duo of Stephenson and George combined for over half of Indiana’s total output for the game. Stephenson finished with 26 points and seven rebounds and Paul George finished with 26 points and five assists. Danny Granger had a rough night in his 14 minutes of play, going 0-of-7 from the field and finishing with no points. As a team the Pacers shot 46 percent and held the Nets to 38 percent. The major negative was, as always, the turnovers, with 18.
Now Indiana has nearly a week off as they do not play again until Saturday night against these same Brooklyn Nets, this time at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, and then at home again next Tuesday against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Both teams are below .500, but in the Eastern Conference this year there are currently only three teams with winning records. Everyone is playing each other, so Indiana need not make any apologies for their schedule. That’s why they play the games. The Pacers are 23-5 for a reason.
Image courtesy of Sebastian Anthony.