Indiana hasn't lost to a sub-.500 team since January 23.
And then they ran into the Brooklyn Nets.
The Nets had just come off a 104-95 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers, winning their 20th game in 71 tries. Their stellar play against tough teams continued with a 120-110 victory over the Indiana Pacers, Saturday night in Brooklyn, ending Indiana's solid play against non-playoff teams.
Even more importantly, they played spoiler role against a team looking to squeak into the playoffs.
The Pacers led Brooklyn by as many as 14 in the first half and then 10 early in the fourth quarter, but the Nets answered with a 17-3 run and found their largest lead of the night at four. They outscored the Pacers 35-17 (!!) after outscoring the Cavs 24-12 in the fourth, Thursday night.
Brook Lopez was having one of his worst games of the season... until the fourth quarter. He was just 2-of-11 through the first three quarters, but hit on five consecutive shots and scored 14 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter.
The 14 points marks the best fourth quarter of Brook Lopez's career and by no mistake, the Nets put the Pacers out behind his lead.
The dagger was delivered following an inside-out offensive play involving Lopez and Bojan Bogdanovic (18 points). Lopez passed out of a post-up and Bogdanovic -- camped out on the wing extended -- nailed a deep three-pointer to go up by six with 38 seconds left.
Paul George did all he could to keep the Pacers afloat and dropped 27 on the night. As a whole, Indiana shot 46 percent from 3-point and 48 percent from the field.
During Lopez's early struggles, Sergey Karasev kept the Nets within striking distance for most of the way. Karasev, who recently noted how he'd like to stay in the NBA, posted a career-high 17 points on 5-of-7 shooting. Karasev credited Bojan Bogdanovic's late heroics.
"Bojan hit a big 3 and Brook played a great fourth quarter," Karasev said. "Everyone was touching the ball on the court. Everybody looked pretty good today and when we move the ball we looked pretty good, like a team."
"I thought he played a great ballgame and made the right decisions with the basketball," Brown said of Karasev.
This season hasn't been filled with many triumphant wins, but since Tony Brown and Sean Marks took over, they've been much more fun to watch. They've got young guys who are proud to be Brooklyn Nets and it's... refreshing.
Kilpatrick stays hot:
Sean Kilpatrick did his usual thing and scored in double digits for the eighth straight game with 14 points off the bench. His instant offense is pretty much expected at this point.
Next up: Miami Heat, Monday night at 7:30 p.m.
- Game Thread: Brooklyn Nets vs. Indiana Pacers, 6:00 PM - NetsDaily
- Pacers vs. Nets - Box Score - March 26, 2016 - ESPN
- Indiana Pacers vs Brooklyn Nets - Box Score - NBA.com
- Lopez Scores 23 to Lead Nets Past Pacers 120-110 - Michael Scotto - AP
- Lopez lifts Nets over Pacers - Larry Fleisher - Reuters
- Pacers vs. Nets (Video) - NBA.com
- Brown Drives and Scores (Video) - NBA.com
- Mahinmi Rejects Young (Video) - NBA.com
- Kilpatrick Drives and Scores (Video) - NBA.com
- Lopez Goes Reverse (Video) - NBA.com
- Paul George's 27 Points (Video) - NBA.com
- Kilpatrick highlight reel (Video) - NBA.com
- Sloan dishes, Kilpatrick finishes (Video) - NBA.com
- Sloan scores And One (Video) - NBA.com
- Defense Leads to Offense (Video) - NBA.com
- Post Game Plus: Nets defeat Pacers, 120-110 (Video) - Nancy Newman - YES Network
- Brown on defensive turnaround in Nets' victory (Video) - YES Network
- Lopez on the Nets battling in a win over the Pacers (Video) - YES Network
- Karasev on playing a big role in a huge win (Video) - YES Network
- Kilpatrick on how energy fuels the Nets (Video) - YES Network
- Larkin on importance of communication on court (Video) - YES Network
- Sergey Karasev making most of his starts for Nets - Laura Albanese - Newsday
- Paul George concerned but staying positive after bad loss to Nets - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN
- Nets let someone else collapse late, upend another contender - Brian Lewis - New York Post
- Lopez's 14-point 4th quarter helps the Nets storm back and hold on (Game Grades) - Benny Nadeau - The Brooklyn Game
- Insider: Pacers have no excuse for another 'bad loss' - Candace Bruckner - Indianapolis Star