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Nets bench a no-show, as they're blown out by the Pacers, 110-85

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Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

BROOKLYN - The Brooklyn Nets entered Saturday's game against the Indiana Pacers looking to win their fourth straight game and hoping to do so while their former All-Stars, Brook Lopez and Deron Williams, once again were asked to come off the bench. Mason Plumlee and Jarrett Jack remained in the starting lineup, as Kevin Garnett played on the second night of a back-to-back. This was the lineup, along with Sergey Karasev and Joe Johnson, that has sparked the Nets as of late. They were hoping for the same spark against the Pacers, however it was the bench that really, truly let them down.

The bench production was just awful, as they shot 5-of-32 from the floor. Yes, 5-of-32.

Deron Williams went for seven points on 2-of-7 shooting, three assists and three turnovers in 19 minutes, while Lopez finished with zero points on 0-of-5 shooting and five rebounds in 15 minutes. Mirza Teletovic was 0-of-6, while Bojan Bogdanovic was 0-of-4 from the field.

After having won three in a row, in a home game which they very well should have won, the Nets faltered, shooting just 36.4 percent from the floor and losing to the Pacers, 110-85.

Jarrett Jack, who had another good game, said D-Will is still battling his calf injury.

"It takes a little bit of time. I thought in Boston he played tremendous. Today, a lot of us had trouble handling the basketball, myself included, so he’ll be fine. Deron is a top, high-level point guard, and I think he’ll get back to that as soon as he gets back adjusted, and I look forward to him getting back to that form."

Jack has been one of the team's few bright spots. Over the last five, Jack has averaged 18.8 points, 5.6 assists, 4.4 rebounds, shot 56.7% overall and has not missed a free throw in 15 attempts.

"There are no excuses," Lionel Hollins said of his two benched stars. "They didn't play very well and they have to play better for us to be better or for them to get more playing time and more consistent playing time."

Williams did not disagree.

"He's definitely right," Williams said. "We do have to play better. We are two of the highest-paid players on the team, and so that's our responsibility is to play better. Hopefully, we accept that challenge. I do. I think Brook does."

The game was particularly difficult for Lopez. He went scoreless for the first time since his rookie season.

"I felt like I was getting back into it and then my back did what it did, so I've just got to keep working and get back at it again," Lopez said. "I know the player I am, I know the player I can be and I can't get down on myself. I have to be that player."


The Nets got out to a hot start, hitting their first four shots and five of their first six, to build out an early lead. Kevin Garnett, after blowing in David West's ear, goaded West into picking up a technical foul. Lionel Hollins pulled Garnett immediately after with the Nets up 14-8, in favor of Lopez. The Pacers then went on a 12-5 run to take a 20-19 lead.

Lopez started off the game 0-of-4 from the floor, and along with the bench, who went 0-of-7 in the first quarter, was unable to help build off of the Nets early lead. After one they only led the Pacers by one point, 23-22. The Nets shot 38.1 percent from the floor in the quarter.

Things didn't necessarily pick up early in the second, as the bench started the quarter 0-of-4 before Alan Anderson knocked down a three. Brooklyn's offense, however, continued to struggle in the second. They had gone 1-of-17 from the floor before Lionel Hollins returned most of the starters, hoping to restore order. He went with a smaller lineup, with Joe Johnson playing the '4' and Deron Williams, Jarrett Jack and Alan Anderson playing together, but things did not get better.

Brooklyn shot 32.8 percent from the floor in the first half and trailed the Pacers, 50-47, at halftime. The bench shot 2-of-20 from the floor in the first half. The Nets had just six assists in the first half.

In the third quarter, the starters did their best to keep the game close. Still the bench production was lacking. At around the 6-minute mark, Kevin Garnett picked up his fourth foul, with Lopez returning in his absence. Moments later, Williams entered for Karasev, while the Nets were once again unable to get anything going.

Truth is, the Nets' starters weren't playing "lights out," but boy did the bench, which included Lopez and Williams, stunk big time. After three, the team trailed 79-65, with the bench having gone 3-of-24 from the floor with just five assists to six turnovers.

In the fourth, the game continued to get out of hand, as the Pacers pulled ahead by 21 points, 86-65, with 10:30 to go in the game. The Nets looked and played like a defeated team. There was just no production from anyone not named Jarrett Jack, Joe Johnson or Sergey Karasev.

Nets bench was a no-show, shooting 5-of-32 from the floor, as they were blown out by the Pacers, 110-85.

Next up, Monday night at home against the Sacramento Kings.

For more on the Pacers, see: Indy Cornrows