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Nets go to Indiana to play Pacers

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NBA: Boston Celtics at Indiana Pacers Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Same ole, same ole. The Nets played the Jazz tough for three quarters, but like so many other times this year, couldn’t bring it home in the fourth quarter and wound up losing. It was their third straight loss and eighth in their last ten. This is the first night of a back-to-back. They’re back home to play Cleveland tomorrow.

Waiting for the Nets will be the Indiana Pacers. Indy’s had an inconsistent season, but they appear to be turning things around. They’ve won their last three games, including Wednesday night’s contest in Detroit against the Pistons.

Where to follow the game

YES Network on TV. WFAN 101.9 FM on radio. Tip off after 7.

Injuries

Jeremy Lin is still out. Rondae Hollis Jefferson is dealing with a hip tendinitis and he’s out as well.

Rodney Stuckey has been out of action with a sore left hamstring and his availability for tonight is unknown.

The game

The Nets won the first meeting in October while the Pacers won the second one in November.

The last time the Nets won a game away from Barclays Center was in early November in Phoenix. Since then, it’s been a parade of frustration and ass whoopings for Brooklyn. As long as the Nets are unable to win away from home, they’ll remain at the bottom of the Eastern Conference.

With Hollis Jefferson out, Paul George should have a bit of an easier time on the perimeter. George has started to heat up over the past week, as he’s shot 50 percent from the field in his last four games. George is a foul drawing machine and for a Nets team missing their best perimeter defender, they figure to be in big trouble. With RHJ out, this should be a good time for Caris Levert to cross the 30 minute plateau.

Brook Lopez will be matched up with one of the best young players in the league. Myles Turner has been fantastic as a sophomore and has successfully expanded his game. Like Lopez, Turner can score in the post, shoot three pointers, and does a good job protecting the rim. Lopez had an iffy showing against Utah so he’ll be looking to bounce back. As of this writing, he’s scheduled to play. The two days off before this game should make him available for the Cavs game on Friday.

Maybe it’s the uniforms, but CJ Miles loves playing against the Nets. The Pacers two guard is averaging 10 points in 18 minutes a game in his career against the Nets on a 48/45.7/82.5 shooting split.

And here’s a fun fact: Thaddeus Young, who the Nets traded for Caris LeVert and a second round pick, is shooting 42 percent from deep, a career high.

Player to watch: Jeff Teague

Teague was Indiana’s big acquisition over the summer and he’s done a quality job running the point for the Pacers. Indiana’s offense is four points per 100 possessions better when he’s on the court as compared to when he’s off the court. Teague’s game is predicated on breaking defenders down and driving to the rim. Teague is tenth in the league in drives, averaging close to 11 a game. As a team, the Pacers are shooting 36.2 percent from three point range. They should get a variety of good looks off of Teague’s penetration.

The Nets PG trio will get another chance to put a good game together. Isaiah Whitehead will get the first opportunity and will draw Teague to start off. The results haven’t been there yet for Whitehead, but getting to match up with a good point guard like Teague should be a good learning experience for him.

From the Vault

We haven’t gotten to Drazen Petrovic yet this season. It’s a good time to correct that.

More reading: Indy Cornrows