On the road to 50, a pothole the size of Indiana

USA TODAY Sports

An Indy win would end dreams of third seed

If the Nets want to reach the 50-win milestone, Friday may be the key game. Brooklyn's best, who need to go 4-0 to reach 50, are in Indianapolis for their final game against a team with a winning record. Beyond getting to 50, the Nets will be trying to sweep Indiana, having already beaten the Pacers twice. There's also a mathematical chance at passing Indiana for the third seed in the east. That chance would be eliminated if Indiana wins.

The Pacers are 10-5 over the last 15, but they needed a monster comeback to beat the lowly Cavaliers after losing to the Thunder and Wizards. They are the top rebounding team in the NBA and second in points allowed. They are not an offensive powerhouse, particularly with Danny Granger done for the season. Paul George, their 22-year-old All-Star, has tailed off recently, averaging only 11.8 points and shooting just over 30 percent in April. George Hill has picked up some of the slack, scoring 27 to lead the comeback against the Cavs and averaging 15.8 this month. David West, coming off an injury last month, is steady as ever, and Brook Lopez could have his hands full with Roy Hibbert, who's averaged 20 points and 8 boards in April.

For the Nets, Jerry Stackhouse is likely to see action with Gerald Wallace likely out. Otherwise, the Nets are healthy and Deron Williams is well beyond healthy. A win would clinch their fifth winning month of the season (every month but December), the first time the Nets have had five winning months in the same season since 2002-03, when they went to the Finals. Kris Joseph remains with the team.

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