Indianapolis, IN (SportsNetwork.com) - The Pacers boosted their bench on
Saturday afternoon and bounced back from a rare home loss later that night.
Hours after his club officially signed center Andrew Bynum for the rest of the
season, the Pacers' incumbent big man, Roy Hibbert, and fellow All-Star Paul
George scored 20 points apiece to send Indiana past the Brooklyn Nets, 97-96.
The Pacers suffered their second home loss of the season on Thursday, falling
to the Suns 102-94, but recovered two days later and never trailed in the
second half Saturday in sending the Nets to a third straight loss.
They needed to overcome a season-high 24 turnovers and survived Paul Pierce's
potential game-tying 3-pointer in the closing seconds.
"We gave ourselves a great opportunity to win on the road against the top team
in the East," Nets head coach Jason Kidd said. "That's what you ask from your
guys. The guys fought and we played a lot better."
Lance Stephenson and David West both filled the box score for a combined 31
points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists.
Shaun Livingston set a season high with 24 points in a losing effort.
The second of two Livingston free throws tied thing at 76-76 early in the
fourth quarter, but Indiana scored the next seven points and held on the rest
of the way.
A Kevin Garnett tip-in cut Brooklyn's deficit to 91-88 with 1:49 remaining,
and Pierce had a chance to tie it the next time down. Pierce, though, missed a
3-point try from the right wing, and West banked in a mid-range jumper at the
other end with just under a minute to play.
The Nets' lone All-Star, Joe Johnson, drilled a 3-pointer over Hibbert to trim
the margin to 94-93 with 8.5 seconds remaining, and two West free throws gave
Brooklyn one final chance.
Pierce again came up empty, however, as his try from the corner was well short
to seal Indiana's sweep of the four-game season series.
"It's tough to beat a team four times in one season. With the talent they
have, we knew it was going to be very tough,"Indiana head coach Frank Vogel
There were nine lead changes and six ties in a tight first half, which ended
with the Pacers holding a slim 46-45 lead.
Indiana sprinted out of the break on a 12-2 run to build an 11-point cushion,
but the Nets chipped away and pulled within 72-70 leading to the final stanza.
George has already set a career high with 225 free throws made this season ...
George Hill scored 10 points for the Pacers, whose starters have scored in
double-figures in five of the last seven games ... Johnson added 16 points,
Pierce had 15 and Garnett totaled 12 with 10 rebounds ... Brooklyn had been in
a 10-1 stretch before its recent skid ... The Nets fell to 2-8 in the second
game of a back-to-back set this season ... The Pacers owned a huge 46-27
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