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
- Pacers at Nets - December 27, 2014 - Box Score - NBA.com
- Game Thread: Brooklyn Nets vs. Indiana Pacers, 8:00 PM - NetsDaily
- 2nd Half Game Thread: Brooklyn Nets vs. Indiana Pacers - NetsDaily
- Video: Kevin Garnett blows in David West's ear - NetsDaily
- Garnett Blows In West's Ear - (Video) - NBA.com
- Jack Be Nimble - (Video) - NBA.com
- Lopez Protects the Rim - (Video) - NBA.com
- Scola Gets The Hoop and Harm - (Video) - NBA.com
- Stuckey Accelerates - (Video) - NBA.com
- Post Game Plus: Nets lose to Pacers, 110-85 (Video) - Chris Shearn - YES Network
- Hollins on Nets' offensive struggles in loss (Video) - YES Network
- Karasev on loss, career-high 14 points (Video) - YES Network
- Lopez discusses Nets' offensive struggles (Video) - YES Network
- Plumlee on Nets' struggles against Pacers (Video) - YES Network
- Pacers Pull Away From Nets (Video) - ESPN
- Kevin Garnett blows in David West's ear, draws shove & tech (Video) - The Brooklyn Game
- Indiana Pacers vs. Brooklyn Nets - Recap - December 27, 2014 - AP
- Pacers 110, Nets 85: Win streak over - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN New York
- Nets fall to Pacers at home, 110-85 - Roger Rubin - New York Daily News
- Kevin Garnett blows into David West's ear - John Healy - New York Daily News
- Pacers 110, Nets 85: Win streak over - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN New York
- Turnovers make Nets look like joke in loss to lowly Pacers - Tim Bontemps - New York Post
- Nets rewind: The Lopez-Plumlee partnership just isn’t working - Tim Bontemps - New York Post
- Nets hammered at home by Pacers, 110-85 - Andy Vasquez - The Record
- Nets notes:Kevin Garnett irks David West - Andy Vasquez - The Record
- Nets' bench, especially Brook Lopez, ineffective as Pacers romp - Rod Boone - Newsday
- Kevin Garnett saddles up two days in a row - Rod Boone - Newsday
- Nets Blown Out On Home Court By 10-20 Pacers (Grades) - Devin Kharpertian - The Brooklyn Game
- As Nets Stumble, Healthy Brook Lopez Struggles To Pinpoint Problem - Devin Kharpertian - The Brooklyn Game
- Deron Williams Acknowledges Nets' Pricy Problem - Devin Kharpertian - The Brooklyn Game
- Nets have expensive problem on their bench - Gregory Hrinya - Examiner
Nets Revert to Bad Habits in 110-85 Loss to the Pacers - Lenn Robbins - Brooklyn Nets
- Nets' Brook Lopez after scoreless game: 'I played extremely horribly' - James Herbert - CBS Sports
- Pacers bounce back with win in Brooklyn - Candace Buckner - Indianapolis Star
- The case for (and against) Solomon Hill as a Rising Star - Candace Buckner - Indianapolis Star