BROOKLYN, N.Y. — If you wanted to watch G League level basketball, you didn’t have to travel to Long Island to watch it. Brooklyn was the place for that, as the Nets lost their fourth game in the last five, 115-86, Monday night against the Indiana Pacers.
They dropped to 5-8 on the season.
Sure, the Nets were missing Kyrie Irving and Caris LeVert, but the Pacers were missing Malcolm Brogdon, Victor Oladipo, TJ McConnell, Jeremy Lamb and Edmond Sumner. Not to mention, they were back on their home floor after defeating the Bulls on the road... without Irving and LeVert.
The “next man up” mentality was seemingly gone. Spencer Dinwiddie played a good game, finishing with 28 points and eight assists — 16 of his points coming the third. Other than him, only Jarrett Allen and Garrett Temple finished in double figures. Joe Harris was nowhere to be found with seven points on just eight field goal attempts.
It got ugly from the start. After coming out and starting the game with a 14-6 lead, the Pacers answered with a 21-2 run — 30-6 extended which put Brooklyn in a 16-point hole. Since that same 14-6 lead, the Pacers finished the half with a 53-21 advantage — 41-17 in the second quarter alone!
Domantas Sabonis grabbed 14 rebounds in the first 12 minutes of the games, 18 total on the night, helping lead a 62-40 lopsided rebounding battle for Indiana. It didn’t necessarily help that the Nets missed on 64 percent of their shots.
“We totally weren’t there tonight,” Kenny Atkinson said. “For whatever reason — defensively, offensively, rebounding, physicality — I just think it was total domination by Indiana.
“Below-average teams are inconsistent and that’s what we are right now.”
The Nets did, however, make a little push in the third quarter. Dinwiddie dropped 16 points in the quarter alone with the team looking much better on both sides of the ball. Down 12 with the crowd on its feet and all momentum, Garrett Temple missed a wide-open layup that would’ve cut Indiana’s 28-point deficit down to 10 with plenty of time left in the game.
Instead, the Holiday brothers answered with a quick 5-0 spurt and Brooklyn’s deficit ballooned back up to 17. Fans were fed up and the players looked defeated. The dark, unappealing organ playing in the background only set the tone for a miserable night in Brooklyn.
The Nets shot 36 percent from the field, 32.4 percent from three and just 15-of-24 from the free throw line. The Pacers shot 43.6 percent, 42.4 percent from three, as Aaron Holiday led the charge with 19 points, 11 assists and six rebounds.
“There’s a lot of stuff that’s out of your control when you play, but the things that are in your control are competing every possession, playing hard every possession, having that sense of urgency, the ownership, the pride, and a lot of that stuff is not there with us right now,” Joe Harris said. “It’s there in [spurts], but it’s not there consistently.”
Like Atkinson said on Saturday, nobody in Brooklyn is panicking. We’re 13 games into the season. However, if you want to use the injury bug as an excuse — tonight wasn’t the night. The Pacers dealt with the same problems as the Nets, if not worse due to the amount of players they were missing.
You can say a lot of things about this loss. Nets miss Kyrie and Caris, obviously. But why did Joe Harris only take eight shots? Where was Taurean Prince? The bench (7-of-27)? The DEFENSE? Rebounding?
Both teams were depleted. Bad night for Brooklyn for not putting up a fight.
Get well soon, Kyrie, Caris ... and KD.
For a different perspective, head on over to Indy Cornrows, our Pacer sister site on SB Nation.
WELCOME, TIMOTHE LUWAWU-CABARROT
The Nets French two-way got in the game in garbage time, his first action with the Nets since being signed just before Opening Night. TLC played four minutes and scored one point. He had played Sunday night in Uniondale for Long Island.
RODI BACK IN COURT TUESDAY
Rodions Kurucs will be back in Brooklyn Criminal Court on Tuesday morning for another pretrial hearing. Expect his lawyer to ask that the charges of domestic violence be dropped. That’s unlikely but we’ll know more about when Kurucs trial will take place.
He had two points and two rebounds Monday, playing a total of six minutes.
Next up: Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday, 7:30 PM ET.
- Box Score: Indiana Pacers 115, Brooklyn Nets 86 - NBA.com
- Recap: Indiana Pacers 115, Brooklyn Nets 86 (Video) - NBA.com
- Nets Postgame Plus: IND@BKN (Video) - Nancy Newman & Jim Spanarkel - YES Network
- Atkinson on loss to Indiana (Video) - YES Network
- Harris on Nets’ loss to Pacers (Video) - YES Network
- Allen on loss to the Pacers (Video) - YES Network
- Eagle, Kustok on Nets loss to Pacers (Video) - Ian Eagle & Sarah Kustok - YES Network
- Wear Brooklyn At? (Video) - YES Network
- Atkinson on matchup with Pacers (Video) - YES Network
- Holiday, Sabonis lead Pacers to easy win over Nets - AP
- Kyrie Irving-less Nets crumble against Pacers in blowout loss - Greg Joyce - New York Post
- Nic Claxton’s new Nets role won’t change with rough night - Greg Joyce & Mollie Walker - New York Post
- Shorthanded Nets fall behind early, lose to Pacers - Greg Logan - Newsday
- Without Kyrie Irving, Nets set a season-low for points in ugly loss to the Pacers - Kristian Winfield - New York Daily News
- Nets will rely on their young guns while Kyrie Irving rehabs his injured shoulder - Kristian Winfield - New York Daily News
- PACERS 115, NETS 86: BROOKLYN DROPS HOME RETURN AFTER ROAD TRIP - Tom Dowd - Brooklyn Nets
- NETS VS. PACERS: JOE HARRIS, JARRETT ALLEN, AND KENNY ATKINSON TOP QUOTES - Tom Dowd - Brooklyn Nets
- GALLERY: NETS VS. PACERS - Brooklyn Nets
- Thorough effort helps Indiana Pacers thump Brooklyn Nets - J Michael - Indianapolis Star