After falling behind by 12 in the third quarter, the Brooklyn Nets used their smothering defense to shut down the Indiana Pacers in the fourth and get their season-high sixth straight win.
Deron Williams had 22 points and nine assists, Joe Johnson scored 20 points and the Nets rallied for a 97-86 victory over the Pacers on Sunday night.
Indiana, which had won four straight, was outscored 28-11 in the final period while shooting just 3 for 22 from the field.
”When it came down to it down the stretch we held them to one shot. We just `D’d’ up,” said Brooklyn’s Brook Lopez, who scored 10 of his 15 points in the final quarter. He also finished with nine rebounds and two blocks.
David West had 27 points to lead the Pacers. Paul George added 15 points and 12 rebounds, and Gerald Green also scored 15 points.
Green made two free throws against his former team to give Indiana a 67-55 lead, its largest of the game, with 5 1/2 minutes remaining in the third quarter.
The Nets pulled to 75-69 by the end of the third, and began the fourth on a 26-8 run to take a 12-point lead on C.J. Watson’s jumper with 2:08 remaining.
”We stopped executing and we lost our composure,” West said. ”We let them get going and put ourselves in a bad position. We got sloppy.”
After Ian Mahinmi gave the Indiana a 77-73 lead with 10:56 remaining in the game, the Pacers did not score again until Green’s two free throws with 6:41 left. They didn’t make a field goal until West’s basket with 4:45 remaining.
Indiana was issued two technical in the fourth – on George Hill and coach Frank Vogel.
”Clearly the officiating was getting to us,” Vogel said. ”That’s all I can say about that.”
Kris Humphries added 10 points and nine rebounds in just 17 minutes for the Nets.
”We had Gerald (Wallace) out already and we had won five in a row,” said Williams, who played despite a thigh contusion. ”The last time we won five in a row we went 3-13 so this was a big game for us. We needed this game.”
The Nets took a 27-18 lead on Williams’ 3-pointer with 47 seconds remaining in the first quarter. Brooklyn then struggled in the second, shooting just 9 for 25 (36 percent) as the Pacers took a 49-46 halftime lead.
”In the second half we got after it. We defended very, very well,” Nets interim coach P.J. Carlesimo said after improving to 8-1. ”Our defense was great and the bench was fantastic. The defense fuels us.”
Brooklyn beat Indiana for the second straight time after losing the previous 10 meetings.
NOTES: The starting lineups were announced in Russian as the Nets celebrated ”An Evening of Russian Culture.” Brooklyn’s owner Mikhail Prokhorov is Russian. … Damion Jones was signed to a 10-day contract by the Nets. He is Brooklyn’s first NBA D-League call-up of the season. Jones played for the Nets in 2010-11 (25 games) and 2011-12 (7 games). … Lance Stephenson, who starred at Lincoln High School in Brooklyn, started for the Pacers but only played the first six minutes before injuring his right foot. … Wallace was inactive for the Nets with bruised ribs.