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SPENCER DINWIDDIE SAVES THE DAY AS NETS TAKE DOWN INDIANA, 106-105

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Brooklyn Nets v Indiana Pacers Photo by Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images

If the Nets couldn’t break your heart any more than they did Saturday night, then you’d have to say Spencer Dinwiddie is Cupid after Monday, restoring the ability to love again.

The scripts for the two games read similar: Brooklyn failed to capitalize on its opportunities throughout the night. Their 8-point lead turned into a 3-point deficit entering the fourth. They fought in the end but couldn’t make a stop. All signs pointed to another disappointing loss.

But Dinwiddie had other other arrows in his sling, the last a mid-range that found its target with less than three seconds to go.

“It’s big-time. Obviously, we know they’re going through their own struggles, but us on the road versus high-quality competition has been a struggle, too,” said Dinwiddie, noting this was the team’s first win against a team with a winning record on the road.

“[Us] being the team, between the two, to break out of their struggle a little bit was huge. And the guys in the locker room want to keep the momentum going and get a win before the [All-Star] break and ride that wave into a nice little break.”

“It just boosts your confidence, and it boosts your chemistry when you get a win, and guys make big plays and they trust it more. So it’s a good start,” Kenny Atkinson said. “We obviously have a lot more difficult games to go on the road against good teams. So hopefully this is the beginning of getting some more.”

The Nets found themselves digging again late. A Joe Harris 3-pointer would give them a one-point lead with 26 seconds left, but a Domantas Sabonis lefty layup put them down one point with 9.9 seconds left.

LeVert got the call on Saturday, and Dinwiddie got the call tonight. It was an isolation play, one in which Dinwiddie caught the ball on the sideline out-of-bounds play, ripped right and pulled up from the right elbow extended. Bang.

The Nets forced a miss from Malcolm Brogdon and handed Indiana their sixth straight loss, 106-105, Monday night in Indiana. Dinwiddie finished with 21 points — 12 coming in the fourth quarter. He was just 4-of-15 from the field, but he hit 13 of 15 at the free throw line to go along with 11 assists and six rebounds. It’s his seventh double-double of the season, tying his career-high for double doubles in a single season.

Despite a tough shooting night from Dinwiddie and Caris LeVert (4-of-13), the Nets controlled the tempo for a majority of the first three quarters. They led 76-69 when things turned, an 11-1 run by Indiana to close out the quarter.

That’s when Dinwiddie had to get going one way or another — and he did it at the free throw line. Brooklyn hit 24 of their 32 free throws on the night, compared to 8-of-11 for Indiana. It was a difference maker, especially in a game where the Pacers outscored the Nets by 20 points inside the paint.

DeAndre Jordan was huge off the bench, finishing with 11 points and 19 rebounds — his seventh double-double off the bench this season, the most double-doubles off the bench in a season for a Net since Jamie Feick’s nine in 1999-00. The Nets set a season-high for most players in double figures with eight.

LeVert struggled, but he hit the momentum changing 3-pointer to bring the Nets within two at 93-91. From that point on, the Nets and Pacers exchanged buckets leading to Joe Harris’ 3-pointer to put the Nets up by one. Harris was key in the victory, scoring 15 points on 4-of-7 from three to go along with eight rebounds.

It wasn’t pretty, and quite frankly, it should’ve been easier. The Nets had control most of the night, but leads turn to deficits extremely quick for this Nets team. But, the only thing that matters: They finally hit the big shot.

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HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY, IAN!

RJ chimed in...

Great broadcaster, even better person. Happy birthday, Bird.

KD, KYRIE, JOE HARRIS ON TEAM USA?

Durant and Irving won the gold in Rio de Janiero, Brazil, in 2016, as did DeAndre Jordan. Harris was a member of Team USA last summer at the FIBA World Cup in China.

JOE’S FIST PUMP EXPLAINED

Joe Harris celebrated in an unexpected and somewhat atypical way in the first half. He fist-pumped. The gesture was so out of character that he was asked about it post-game...

NO UPDATE ON KYRIE IRVING’S RETURN

Irving was scheduled for a re-evaluation on Sunday the Nets had said, but when asked, coach Kenny Atkinson said, “I mean, he’s re-evaluated every day. No update.”

Meanwhile, Atkinson insisted he’s not sure yet what his rotation will look like once Kyrie Irving returns and he’ll have LeVert, Dinwiddie and Irving to choose from. One possibility: he might play LeVert at small forward. It’s not a bad problem to have.

TOUGH LOSS FOR INDIANA

This was the the first game where the Pacers had its entire roster healthy. Game 54. It didn’t matter though. The loss to Brooklyn was its sixth straight. Among the Pacers previous losses were a loss at home to the Knicks and an home-and-away with the Raptors, part of Toronto’s winning streak, now at 15 games.

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For a different perspective, head on over to IndyCornRows, our Pacers sister site on SB Nation.

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Next up: Raptors at Nets on Wednesday.