Brook Lopez lifts Nets over slumping Pacers
The Brooklyn Nets aren`t letting a little thing like fatigue disrupt their late push for an unlikely NBA playoff berth.
Just 24 hours after their thrilling triple-overtime victory over the Milwaukee Bucks, the Nets defeated the slumping Indiana Pacers 123-111.
The 29-39 Nets are currently out of playoff position at 11th in the Eastern Conference, but they moved within a game of the eighth-placed Celtics and will host Boston on Monday.
Indiana, who entered the game in a virtual tie with Boston for the eighth and final playoff spot in the East, failed to pick up a game on the idle Celtics.
Instead, they and Charlotte are both just a half-game ahead of the Nets.
"We came out the way we knew we needed to," said Brook Lopez, who scored 26 points and blocked four shots.
"We had guys who went long last night and so we were going to need our bench to step up, and they did."
Brooklyn`s reserves out-scored the Pacers` reserves 58-33.
Bojan Bogdanovic played a key role, connecting on all eight of his shots and scoring 21 points off the bench for the Nets.
Starting guard Deron Williams, who endured a tough night of 1-for-6 shooting in the victory over Milwaukee, turned things around, scoring 15 of his 17 points in the first quarter to get the Nets out to a fast start.
"I knew guys were tired from last night. We all were," Williams said. "We didn`t land until 3:00 (am).
"But I only played 22 minutes last night. I knew I had more gas than they did, so I just wanted to try to attack early."
All five Nets starters scored in the first quarter and all five reserves had scored by 7:41 of the second as Brooklyn ended a five-game losing streak to the Pacers.
George Hill had 18 points and nine assists to lead Indiana, who dropped their fifth straight decision after a 7-0 winning streak.