Pacers need OT to maintain mastery of Nets
INDIANAPOLIS — Victor Oladipo scored 38 points to go with six assists as the Indiana Pacers defeated the Brooklyn Nets 123-119 in overtime Saturday, snapping a three-game home losing streak.
Myles Turner added 23 points, nine rebounds and six blocks, which ties a career high.
Spencer Dinwiddie led the Nets with 26 points and eight assists, and DeMarre Carroll added 20 points and a game-high 13 rebounds, helping Brooklyn outrebound the Pacers 51-41. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson finished with 18 points and eight rebounds despite shooting 7 of 18 from the field.
Indiana (19-14) earned its sixth-consecutive victory over the Nets, and has now won 14 of its last 18 matchups with the Nets dating back to 2013.
Brooklyn (12-20) entered the game as the third-worst 3-point shooting team in the league, averaging just over 34 percent, but shot uncharacteristically well in the first half. The Nets connected on 9 of 18 3-point attempts and led by as many as 19 in the first half on their way to a 57-41 halftime lead.
“In the first half, it was tough for us for some reason,” Oladipo said. “They were hitting tough shots and getting a lot of foul calls. In the second half, things started going our way. We just picked it up and played at a high level at both ends, and we were successful because of it.”
Caris LeVert was fouled by Oladipo on a made 3-pointer and completed the four-point play at the free-throw line, extending Brooklyn’s lead to 52-35 with 2:21 remaining in the first half. LeVert had nine points in the first half, but cooled down after halftime, finishing with 14.
The Pacers ramped up their defense in the second half, blanketing the perimeter and forcing Brooklyn to attack the paint. Indiana blocked eight shots — seven after halftime — and had eight steals to Brooklyn’s two. The Nets’ perimeter shooting volume leveled out down the stretch, though they still shot 10 percent higher than their season average, hitting 16 of 36 from behind the arc.
“To have a chance to win at the end on the road, good effort overall,” Brooklyn coach Kenny Atkinson said. “Obviously, we didn’t deal with their physicality to start that third quarter. To me, that was really where the game changed. Credit to Indiana. I thought they came out and they really got into us defensively.”
Indiana came out of halftime on a 9-0 run, and outscored the Nets 40-23 in the third quarter.
Turner hammered an emphatic one-handed slam over Jarrett Allen at the 4:34 mark of the third quarter, drawing a foul and completing the old fashioned 3-point play.
“I thought he made a big difference in our play in the second half,” Indiana coach Nate McMillan said of Turner. “I thought the first half, he settled. He was looking for the 3-point shot and he had opportunities to step in and take that free-throw line jump shot. He came out in the third quarter, we had talked about that, and he made the adjustment.”
Darren Collison hit back-to-back buckets to give Indiana a 69-68 lead with 3:21 remaining in the third, its first lead in over 30 minutes. Collison finished with 14 points and nine assists after posting no points and just three assists in the first half.
Indiana held for the final shot of regulation, but Oladipo missed a 3-pointer from the top of the key at the buzzer.
Carroll tied the game at 119 on a 3-pointer from the elbow with 46 seconds remaining, but Oladipo drove hard to the basket and drew a foul on the ensuing possession, converting a pair of free-throws to put the Pacers up 121-119. Dinwiddie missed a long 3-point attempt in the final seconds, and two more free-throws from Oladipo sealed the win.
It’s the fifth time this season the Pacers mounted a comeback of 10 or more points, and the third victory in which they trailed by at least 19.
“I think it’s going to help us down the line,” Turner said of the team’s early deficit problems. “Throughout the rest of the season, end of the season, the postseason, we’re going to be in those moments a lot. We wouldn’t like to be, but it’s NBA basketball, so I think if we get it out of the way early then that experience is good for our chemistry.”
NOTES: The Pacers rank second in the league in 3-point percentage, shooting. 38.8 percent from distance. ... Brooklyn’s bench averages 44.8 points per game, which ranks second in the league for reserve contribution. ... Indiana G Darren Collison’s 4.01 assist-to-turnover ratio ranks fourth in the league. ...Brooklyn F Spencer Dinwiddie has recorded at least six assists in 14-consecutive games, the fourth-longest such streak in the league behind only LeBron James (15), Chris Paul (15) and James Harden (22). ... This was the first of a five-game road streak for the Nets, ending Dec. 31 at Boston. ...Indiana G Victor Oladipo has led the Pacers in scoring in 24 of 33 games this season. ... The Pacers improve to 15-3 when making at least 10 3-pointers.