Pacers 121, Nets 105
With Jim O'Brien pacing the bench in flip flops, it seemed like a day at the beach for the Indiana Pacers.
Danny Granger scored 22 of his 28 points in a 72-point first-half blitz and the Pacers posted their third straight win with a 121-105 victory over the woeful New Jersey Nets on Friday night.
This was a laugher for O'Brien, who had to watch his team rally from 20-plus point deficits to beat Phoenix and Toronto in its last two games.
What made O'Brien stand out in this one was his flip-flop fashion statement. It certainly didn't match his suit.
``I broke my right small toe,'' O'Brien said. ``When you have a fracture and you fly, it swells up. I don't like pain a lot. If you notice, they are Adidas so I didn't break any rules. There won't be any Supreme Court decisions made here.''
And there is no way the Nets can appeal in losing their seventh straight and for the 36th time in 39 games.
Troy Murphy added 21 points and 14 rebounds, Brandon Rush had 15 points and Mike Dunleavy 14 for the Pacers, whose 16-point victory margin matched its biggest of the season.
``It was a change, considering in our last two wins we were down by 20,'' said Granger, who only played roughly 10 minutes in the second half. ``This was a good one from the aspect that we blew the game open and kept the lead. They never really got close. It was a good effort on our part.''
Indiana, which hit 13 3-pointers in the game, built a 20-point halftime lead and cruised the rest of the way. The only entertainment the crowd had in the second half was making ushers at the Izod Center chase down a beach ball fans were tossing through the stands.
``It was a 3-minute period that hurt us,'' Nets interim coach Kiki Vandeweghe said. ``That's just something we have to learn. It's a 48-minute game, not 45.''
Devin Harris had 22 points and nine assists for the Nets, who more and more look like they will challenge Philadelphia's NBA record low of nine wins in the 1972-73 season. Brook Lopez added 27 points, while Yi Jianlian had 17 points and 10 rebounds. Recently acquired Kris Humphries added 15 points.
New Jersey hung tough for the opening 18 minutes, pulling to within 48-47 on two free throws by Lopez with 5:55 to play in the half.
The final 6 minutes belonged to the Pacers, who scored 15 straight points in a 24-5 spurt that Earl Watson ignited with four points.
Murphy drove the lane for a dunk, Rush followed with a 3-pointer and two free throws and then Granger, coming off a 33-point effort in a win over Phoenix, finished up with 9 of his 13 second-quarter points.
``We can get up and down, shoot 3s, score in the paint,'' said center Roy Hibbert, who added 12 points. ``Once we learn to play together and practice more, we can be a dangerous team in the East.''
New Jersey was just 2 of 11 from the field with three turnovers in the drought that turned a close game into yet another big loss.
``They do things in a hurry,'' Harris said. ``They flow into stuff really well. The threes that they took were wide, wide open but they made enough of them.''
The Pacers played the second half without starting guard Luther Head, who sprained his left ankle in the first half.
NOTES: David Goldman, who recently won a five-year international custody battle to regain custody of his son, attended the game with 9-year-old Sean. ... A few fans protesting the Nets' planned move to Brooklyn, N.Y., in 2012 held up two banners in the first quarter. Ushers quickly took the banners away. ... Pacers PG T.J. Ford was inactive for the third time this season because of a coach's decision. He has not played in seven straight games. ... Indiana is 6-4 vs. the Atlantic Division, the only division it has a winning record against. Three of the wins have been against the Nets. ... New Jersey got to the foul line 39 times, making 32 attempts.