The ball slammed the back of the rim, went straight up six feet, dribbled three times on the right side, careened to the left side, then nestled sweetly into the twine.
The basket had been unkind to the Nets to that point, shooting just 44% against the NBA's best defensive team and seeing several jumpers go in and out - but that shot off the fingertips of Paul Pierce woke up a previously moribund Barclays Center crowd and set up a frenetic final four minutes between two of the East's strongest teams.
On the next possession Brook Lopez (16 points, 7 rebounds) got hammered by Roy Hibbert (15 points, 11 rebounds) on a scoring drive to the hoop that cut the Pacers lead to three, but no foul was called.
Indiana extended back to a seven point edge behind game-leading scorer Paul George (24 points), but Lopez and Deron Williams (17 points, 10 assists) again pulled the Nets back to a one possession deficit.
After some defensive stops by both squads, Coach Jason Kidd removed Lopez for Jason Terry (0-4 shooting), and called a play for the man who has made a habit of sinking huge late-game shots - Joe Johnson (17 points, 3-5 from three). Williams found Johnson for a great look behind the arc (thanks to a terrific Terry screen) with 11 seconds to go, but his shot was an inch too deep, launching off the inside of the back rim. Brooklyn's small lineup couldn't beat David West (18 points, 8 rebounds) to the loose ball, and the Pacers were able to salt the game away.
This was the second half of a back-to-back for both teams and both coaches spread the minutes around to keep the starters fresh for the stretch run. Kidd played all ten Nets who saw action over 15:00 and nobody reached 33. Eighteen different players scored in the game and eight reached double-digits.
Their first home loss of the season sent the Nets to a disappointing 2-4 and put them in an early hole at the bottom of the Eastern Conference - 4.5 games behind the 7-0 Pacers. They now head West to try to make up ground against the Kings, Suns and Clippers. Five of the Nets' next six games are on the road, where they are 0-3 so far this season.
- Box Score - NBA.com
- Game Highlights: Pacers vs. Nets (Video) - NBA.com
- Spinning and Scoring (Video) - NBA.com
- Flying Putback (Video) - NBA.com
- Adam Silver on the Nets Broadcast (Video) - Sarah Kustok - NBA.com
- D-Will Around the Defense (Video) - NBA.com
- Block From Behind (Video) - NBA.com
- Post Game Plus: Nets fall to pacers (Video) - Bob Lorenz - YES Network
- Plumlee on his performance (Video) - YES Network
- Kidd on the loss to Pacers (Video) - YES Network
- Lopez discusses loss to Pacers (Video) - YES Network
Nets exploit Pacers' one weakness, but Pacers exploit it better - Devin Kharpertian - The Brooklyn Game
- Rapid Reaction: Pacers 96, Nets 91 - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN New York
- Brooklyn Nets failt to execute in fourth quarter - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN New York
- D-Will: I'm 'getting there' - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN New York
- Why are the Brooklyn Nets 2-4? - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN New York
- NBA: Indiana Pacers stay unbeaten, top seed in mind - Brian Windhorst - ESPN New York
- Pacers beat Nets to improve NBA-best start to 7-0 - Brian Mahoney - Associated Press
- Vogel, George, push Pacers to another statement win vs. Nets - Chris Mannix - Sports Illustrated
- Pacers’ Boldness Underscores the Nets’ Shortage of It - Andrew Keh - New York Times
- Nets unable to knock off unbeaten Pacers - Tim Bontemps - New York Post
- Undefeated Pacers making early statement - Fred Kerber - New York Post
- Back spasms sideline Andrei Kirilenko - Tim Bontemps - New York Post
- Despite little playing time, Copeland happy with Pacers - Fred Kerber - New York Post
- Nets notes: Kevin Garnett plays in back to back games - Andy Vasquez - The Record
- Nets rally but fall short to undefeated Pacers - Rod Boone - Newsday
- Andrei Kirilenko suffers back spasms - Rod Boone - Newsday
- These Pacers have the pieces to make a real run - Dave D'Alessandro - Star-Ledger
- Nets suffer first home loss as undefeated Pacers keep rolling - Stephen Lorenzo - New York Daily News
- Deron Williams' turnover costs Nets as struggles continue - Stefan Bondy - New York Daily News
- Brook Lopez's 1st quarter purge is a career trend, so why can't he sustain it throughout the game - Stefan Bondy - New York Daily News
- Paul Pierce preaches patience, but frustration mounts for Nets - Moke Hamilton - SNY Nets
- Late Rally Falls Short: Pacers 96, Nets 91 (GAME GRADES) - Devin Kharpertian - The Brooklyn Game
- "Stinging" loss sends Nets back to drawing board - Devin Kharpertian - The Brooklyn Game
- Nets fail to gel in latest loss - Gregory Hrinya - Examiner
- Brooklyn Nets Lose First Home Game of the Season to Indiana Pacers - Jonah Mars - From Russia With Dunk
- Pacers improve to 7-0 with win over Nets - Brett Pollakoff - NBC Sports
- Robbins: Nets Lose Back-to-Back, Pacers Remain NBA's Lone Undefeated Team - Lenn Robbins - Brooklyn Nets