Without Williams, Nets rally, beat Pacers in OT

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 12, 2013 at 2:21 am •  Published: February 12, 2013
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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Brooklyn Nets made it through one game without Deron Williams.

They're hoping they won't have to play this way much more.

By getting the ball inside to Brook Lopez early, letting Reggie Evans clean the glass all night and putting the ball in Joe Johnson's hands late, the Nets returned to their winning ways, beating Indiana 89-84 in overtime.

For the Nets, this was vindication.

"We played, we got down, we hustled, we got to the free-throw line and we battled them on the boards," interim coach P.J. Carelsimo said. "The only good thing about getting killed by San Antonio was the next day, we beat one of the better teams in the league."

Things sure didn't look right before the game for Brooklyn (30-22).

The Nets came to Indy with three losses in four games, including a 111-86 shellacking at home Sunday and were about to play one of the league's best home teams on a court where they had lost five straight. They had struggled badly to score, too, and they were missing their most versatile offensive player, who was diagnosed with synovitis, an inflammation of the ankle joint linings. He received platelet rich plasma treatment on both ankles and isn't expected to return until after the All-Star break.

Somehow, though, the Nets stayed focused enough to turn the tables on Indiana.

Brooklyn had only 11 turnovers, forced the recently proficient Pacers shooters to make just 34.4 percent of their shots, limited All-Star forward Paul George to five points on 1-of-10 shooting, and rallied late in regulation in a game that looked all but lost. Then, in overtime, the Nets pounced.

"We wanted to come out tonight and make a statement," Johnson said after finishing with 17 points. "We were just being very resilient. Guys were coming up big and making plays."

It was a miserable night for the Pacers (31-21).

George was out of sync all night and eventually fouled out with 1:03 left in regulation.

David West, Indiana's other big scorer, got poked in the eye by Lopez 60 seconds into the game. When he returned to start the second half, he didn't look like himself. He was just 2 of 11 from the field with seven points and six rebounds and missed three straight midrange shots at the end of regulation, the last a 14-footer that bounced off the front of the rim as time expired.

Instead, the Pacers have now followed their longest winning streak of the season (five) with two straight losses and their longest home winning streak (15) in more than a decade with back-to-back overtime losses. And Chicago's loss at San Antonio on Monday was the only thing that allowed them to retain the Central Division lead.

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