Pacers’ Oladipo right at home in win over Nets
INDIANAPOLIS -- Victor Oladipo figures a high-tempo offense is perfect for the new-look Indiana Pacers.
“We got stretch bigs and we got downhill guards,” the shooting guard said. “Playing fast is going to be to our benefit.”
Oladipo scored 22 points to lead eight Pacers in double figures, helping Indiana to a 140-131 victory over the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday night in the season opener for both teams.
“We’ve just got to keep improving,” Oladipo said. “We all feel like we gave up a little too many points. But we can fix a lot of things and a lot of mistakes we made. We’re looking forward to improve. (The offense is) good for us, especially with the kind of guards we have.”
It was the first time the Pacers scored 140-plus points since a 144-113 romp over the Denver Nuggets on Nov. 9, 2010.
“I thought we completely broke down defensively,” Nets coach Kenny Atkinson said. “I wish I could sit here and say there was one area, but it was a multitude of things, starting with our transition defense and then rebounding, guarding your man, keeping your guy in front of you, we didn’t do any of those things.”
Oladipo, a former Indiana University standout, was making his regular-season debut after coming to Indiana from the Oklahoma City Thunder with Domantas Sabonis in the Paul George trade. Sabonis scored 16 points.
“If you saw the way we moved the ball in training camp and practice, you wouldn’t be surprised,” Oladipo said. “We just need to build on it, through the good times and the bad. It’s going to be a long year.”
The Pacers’ Myles Turner had 21 points, 14 rebounds and four blocked shots. Thaddeus Young added 17 points and 11 rebounds.
“We have good balance, and guys were sharing the ball,” Pacers coach Nate McMillan said. “When you’re putting up 102 attempts in a regulation game, you’re going to be able to score a lot of points.”
D‘Angelo Russell was high for Brooklyn with 30 points on 12-of-22 shooting. Trevor Booker came off the bench to add 20 points and 10 rebounds.
Darren Collison, who scored 21 points, hit a driving layup with 59 seconds left to put the Pacers up 134-128. Turner made two free throws to push the lead to 136-128 with 55.1 seconds to go.
Brooklyn’s Jeremy Lin, who scored 18 points, was hurt with 4:53 remaining and needed help to get off the court. He was taken to the locker room with an apparent right knee injury.
“We just hope he’s OK,” Nets forward Caris LeVert said. “We don’t know a lot about the situation.”
Oladipo did most of his damage in the first half by scoring 19 points as the Indiana led 65-63 at intermission. There were 10 lead changes and eight ties.
Indiana expanded the lead to 106-98 after three quarters by shooting 68 percent from the field in the third quarter, making 10 straight shots at one point. The Nets had the edge at the free throw line in the third quarter, making 15 of 17 while Pacers were 4 of 5 from the foul line.
The Nets shot 47.9 percent from the floor for the game and the Pacers hit 52 percent.
The Pacers’ largest first-half lead was 57-48 with 4:16 left in the second quarter. The Nets erased that with 9-0 run to tie at 57 with 2:28 to go.
Brooklyn committed 13 first-half turnovers, seven more than Indiana. For the game, the Nets had 20 turnovers and the Pacers 14.
Russell was high for the Nets with 16 points in the first half.
Russell scored eight points, including two 3-pointers, to give the Nets a 30-29 edge in a first quarter that saw five lead changes. Oladipo scored 12 in the opening quarter for the Pacers.
NOTES: F Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, beginning his third season, is the longest tenured member of the Nets. ... The Nets lost their fifth consecutive season opener and fell for the fourth time in a row to the Pacers. ... The Pacers have 10 new players on their roster and the Nets have six. ... Pacers C Ike Anigbogu, the team’s second-round pick from UCLA, was listed as questionable with right knee rehabilitation and did not play. Pacers F T.J. Leaf, a first-round pick from UCLA, was scoreless in 10 minutes in his debut ... The teams’ next meeting is Dec. 17 in Brooklyn. ... Indiana holds a 101-72 all-time edge over the Nets. The 101 victories represent the Pacers’ highest win total against any NBA opponent.