The Brooklyn Nets held off a tough Indiana Pacers squad, defeating them with a fade-away jumper from Spencer Dinwiddie on Monday night.
On Monday, February 10th the Brooklyn Nets traveled to Indianapolis to play the Indiana Pacers and secured another win. With the playoffs approaching and the Pacers being 6th in the Eastern Conference with the Nets trailing behind at 7th, this was a significant game. Their last matchup was back on November 18th and the Nets lost 115-86 without Kyrie Irving, only shooting 35% of their field goals. Leading up to this game, the Pacers have already been on a 5 game losing streak and guard Jeremy Lamb admitted they are “in a fog right now.”
This was the first time in 53 games that the Pacers had all their intended starters on the court. The Nets, however, were without Kyrie again due to his right knee sprain from last week. Initially the results of the MRI indicated he would be back on the court within a week, meaning the Pacers game would be his first game back, but he was unable to play and Spencer Dinwiddie replaced the point guard in the starting lineup. According to coach Kenny Atkinson, it still remains unclear when Kyrie is projected to be back.
By the end of the first quarter, the Nets were barely leading at 30-28 with Taurean Prince and Jarrett Allen being the leading point scorers. By half time, the Nets maintained their lead at 48-41 with Jarrett Allen making 80% of his field goals and Garrett Temple impressing with two three-pointers. At the end of the third quarter, this lead was diminished, with the Pacers up by 3 making the score 80-77. The last quarter remained competitive with the Pacers keeping up their slight lead until the last 27 seconds when Joe Harris made a 3 pointer and brought the lead back to Brooklyn. The lead switched three times within those last 27 seconds, but the Nets ultimately won 106-105 thanks to a 21-foot step back jumper by Spencer Dinwiddie with 3.8 seconds left in the game.
Spencer Dinwiddie continued to prove his importance to the team, especially when Kyrie is injured, scoring 21 points and being the leading point-scorer of the night. He also had 11 assists and 6 rebounds, and achieved his seventh double double this season. DeAndre Jordan had a strong night as well, securing 19 rebounds, which is 10 more than his season average. Following his career high of 37 points on Saturday, Caris Levert had a tougher night scoring only 11 points. He did score an important 3 pointer, though, that brought the score to 93-91 for the Nets. While overall the team did not capitalize on every opportunity throughout the game, they were able to gain enough momentum and initiate some key plays that secured the win, such as McDermott’s third quarter four-point play.
For the Pacers, Domantas Sabonis had an exceptional performance with 23 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists. This is his fourth triple double just this season and he made 11 out of 15 field goals. TJ Warren also contributed 19 points and Myles Turner made 15. On the other hand, point guard Michael Brogdon only made 3 of his 11 attempted field goals, which is drastically less than his average 16.6 points per game.
On Wednesday, the Nets have a home game against the Toronto Raptors who are now 40-14 with a 15 game win streak. Videos of Kevin Durant have just been released showing him jumping and shooting again, and Kyrie Irving is also in the healing process from his knee injury, so it will be interesting to see how the team eventually performs at full capacity.