Indianapolis (TSN) – Brook Lopez had 25 points and eight rebounds and shot a perfect 9-of-9 from the free throw line as the Brooklyn Nets outlasted the Indiana Pacers in overtime, 89-84 Monday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
Joe Johnson scored 17 points and Gerald Wallace recorded a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds — all of which were defensive — for the Nets, who ended a three-game skid en route to sweeping the season series versus the Pacers. Reggie Evans managed just eight points, but pulled down 22 boards in the victory.
George Hill netted 22 points and dished out six assists, despite going just 1- of-7 from behind the arc for the Pacers, who have dropped two straight overtime home contests following a season-high five-game winning streak and 15-game home winning streak.
Lance Stephenson and Jeff Pendergraph had 14 points apiece, while Pendergraph came off the bench to also added 10 rebounds, for the Pacers, who shot a mere 34.4 percent (33-of-96) from the floor.
The Nets, who were without star point guard Deron Williams due to ankle problems, forced overtime after being down six with under 1 1/2 minutes remaining in regulation.
In the overtime, Wallace nailed a trey to extend the Nets’ lead to 83-79 with under two minutes to play.
Evans took any last hope for the home team away, as he tipped in Tyshawn Taylor’s miss to make it a six-point edge with 45 seconds to play. The Pacers got within 87-84 on a late Stephenson 3-pointer, but Johnson connected on two from the charity stripe to secure the victory.
After Brooklyn led 70-64 around the midway point of the fourth, D.J. Augustin’s triple with 4:36 to play ignited a comeback which saw the home team tie the game with just under three minutes remaining.
Roy Hibbert then blocked Evans’ lay-in and followed it with a running hook shot on the other end to give the Pacers the lead. It looked like Indiana would escape with the win after Johnson turned the ball over on the Nets’ next possession and Hill scored a quick basket to extend the edge to 76-72 with 1:38 remaining.
After Evans nailed 1-of-2 free throws to bring the Nets within three points, David West missed a fadeaway jumper, then Taylor made 1-of-2 free throws to make it a two-point contest with 38 seconds to play.
Indiana again turned to West with the shot clock expiring, but he failed to convert again, and Johnson tied the game with 13 seconds left in regulation as he drove through the lane from the right wing and banked home a floater.
The Pacers still weren’t done, and West tried to redeem himself, but missed a running left-handed shot as the clock struck zero to send it to overtime.
Brooklyn lead 20-13 after one quarter thanks to some poor shooting from the Pacers, who shot 24 percent (6-of-25) from the floor.
The Pacers fought back with a 11-4 surge to tie the game at 24-24. The home team outscored the Nets 12-5 to close the half and lead, 40-35 at the break.
The third quarter saw the Pacers slump back into their shooting struggles, as the team generated just 14 points, allowing the visitors to take control of the game and enter the fourth up 58-54.
Notes: The Pacers have now dropped back-to-back home games for the first time in a year, following the 15-game winning streak it had before losing to Toronto on Friday … The Nets defeated the Pacers, 97-86, on Jan. 13 at Barclays Center … Brooklyn, though, has only won two of its last 10 trips to Indiana … Brooklyn shot 31-of-80 from the floor, good for 38.8 percent … Paul George shot a mere 1-of-10 for five total points in just over 39 minutes of action.
“Tough shooting night. One of those nights where we couldn’t put it in the basket. (On the back to back overtime losses) We just get back to work. We looked at our mistakes against Toronto and we’ll look at our mistakes tonight. (On Jeff Pendergraph) He’s a good basketball player. We have five really good Bigs and we can’t find enough minutes and he deserves more.”
“A tough shooting night. If we make half the shots we missed we’re in the 90’s and our defense held them in the 70’s for the most part. Credit them. They came in and played a hard game. (On his stamina during a difficult stretch) I feel good. I really don’t feel like it’s taken a toll on me, or my guys. I just think, whatever the circumstances are, we just didn’t get the job done.”
“There were a couple of hustle plays that we didn’t end up with that we definitely needed. We knew coming in they were a good offensive rebounding team and had four guys that average more than two a game. That was definitely a focal point. They got some key ones and I think in the long run that hurt us a lot. (On his personal play) It’s always fun to get some court time, but I wish it would have ended with a win. I don’t want to be the guy celebrating how he did even though we lost. I’m still a team player.”