Monday, January 2, 2012
Rapid Reaction: Pacers 108, Nets 94
By Mike Mazzeo
WHAT IT MEANS: It’s hard to win when you shoot less than 40 percent. The Nets, who came in ranked 29th in the NBA in field goal percentage, did just that for the fifth time in their first six games on Monday night in a 108-94 loss to the Pacers at the Prudential Center. New Jersey (1-5) has now dropped five in a row following its season-opening victory in Washington. The Nets trailed by as many as 19.
TURNING POINT: After the Nets cut an 11-point Pacers lead to five with 5:13 left in the third quarter, Indiana closed the period on a 13-5 run to reestablish a 77-64 edge.
TWO-MAN SHOW: Deron Williams and MarShon Brooks combined for 43 points in a losing cause. Each showed flashes of brilliance throughout: Williams finished with a game-high 22 points and eight assists -- he turned the ball over just twice but shot just 1-for-7 from 3-point range -- while the rookie Brooks added 21 points and seven rebounds in 32 minutes off the bench. If only their teammates would've joined them.
DON’T SCARE ME LIKE THAT: With 5:13 left in the second quarter, D-Will was fouled hard by “Psycho T” Tyler Hansbrough as he tried to finish a layup on the left side of the rim. Williams fell hard to the floor and stayed down for a bit. He was favoring his right side -- either his hips or ribs -- as he walked back to the bench with trainer Tim Walsh. Williams seemed to be fine, though. He made the ensuing free throw attempts, and then, after a short rest, made a couple strong drives to the hoop before the end of the first half.
HUMP SIDELINED: Kris Humphries missed the game with a sore left shoulder. Shelden Williams started in his place and played decently -- if you don’t count offense. Jordan Williams was active the first time, and saw a couple minutes late. He had been battling a case of dehydration.
LOCAL FLAVOR: Pacers coach Frank Vogel grew up down the shore in Wildwood, N.J. Lance Stephenson grew up in Brooklyn and attended Lincoln High School, while Dahntay Jones was raised in Hamilton Square, N.J. and eventually went to Rutgers before transferring to Duke.
STAT OF THE NIGHT: The Nets, who came in ranked 25th in the league in blocks (4.2), swatted 10 shots on Monday night. They have allowed 29 3-pointers in their last two games. Shawne Williams, who was paid to make 3-pointers, hit his first of the season. The Pacers, who came in ranked last in the league in field goal percentage, connected on a season-high 52.6 percent of their shots against New Jersey.
UP NEXT: Nets at Celtics, Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m.