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Nets Answer Challenge and Even Series

The Nets got a win when they needed it most, running out to an early advantage Saturday afternoon in Indiana, building a 19-point lead after three quarters and holding off a late Pacers' run to even the first round series at two games apiece. The Nets took the ball to the basket early and often, jumping out to a 22-8 lead with Jermaine O'Neal picking up two quick fouls. They held the Pacers to just 37 first half points (thanks to 16 Indiana turnovers) and led by 13 points at the break. After another solid defensive quarter in the third, Indiana started the fourth with a 13-3 run to get back into the game. They eventually cut the lead down to five with two minutes remaining, but the Nets were able to make stops down the stretch and came away with a nine-point victory. Vince Carter led the Nets with an efficient 28 points on 15 field goal attempts, while Richard Jefferson added 22 and Nenad Krstic contributed 21, including three big jumpers in the fourth quarter. O'Neal was limited to just 32 minutes, scoring 22 points and fouling out in the closing minutes.