Nets-Pacers Preview

The Indiana Pacers take pride in not having dropped consecutive games all season.

They haven’t had a loss to the New Jersey Nets for quite some time.

The Pacers go for their ninth straight win over the visiting Nets as both clubs begin back-to-back sets of games Tuesday night.

Indiana (13-6) avenged its lone home loss this season by winning 106-85 at Orlando on Sunday, bouncing back from a 94-87 defeat at Boston on Friday.

“We do react well to adversity,” forward Danny Granger said. “I think that’s a sign of a really good team. We’ve said after every loss we’ve had, ‘We don’t want to lose two in a row.’ And we haven’t yet.”

Granger scored 24 points and newcomers David West and George Hill each added 16 as the Pacers pulled away by outscoring the Magic by 24 in the second half.

“It is a lot of fun to win and be one of the top teams right now,” Granger said. “We are playing together and that is the biggest thing. We have so much talent now. We are in position to really contend for the East.”

Indiana’s 51.1 percent shooting Sunday was its second-highest number behind a 52.6-percent effort in a 108-94 victory at New Jersey (7-14) on Jan. 2. The Pacers shot a season-high 61.9 percent on 3-pointers in that meeting, with Paul George scoring 21 points to lead five Indiana players in double figures.

Six of the Nets’ eight losses in this slide against the Pacers have been by double digits. New Jersey’s last win in the series came Dec. 23, 2008, and it has dropped three straight at Conseco Fieldhouse by an average of 20.3 points.

The Nets, however, may be anxious to hit the road after missing a chance at a three-game win streak Sunday, falling 94-73 at home to a Toronto team playing without two of its top three scorers. The defeat came on the heels of a 2-1 trip.

“I didn’t see the swagger, I didn’t see the energy that I saw on the road trip,” coach Avery Johnson said.

New Jersey is among the lowest-scoring teams in the NBA at home at 88.3 points per game, but it’s in the top half of the league on the road at 93.5.

“I think we’re very competitive on the road, but we can’t play like this at home,” Johnson said.

Kris Humphries totaled 31 points and 30 rebounds in consecutive victories before he had three points and eight boards against the Raptors.

Rookie MarShon Brooks returned to action Sunday after missing three games with a sore left Achilles’ tendon and had six points off the bench, but the Nets’ second-leading scorer (14.8 ppg) is out again after breaking a toe. DeShawn Stevenson (knee) also won’t play Tuesday.

Deron Williams has been carrying a heavier load than usual lately, averaging 28.3 points in the last three contests.

New Jersey natives West and Dahntay Jones have tormented the Nets in recent meetings. West is averaging 25.3 points, 59.0 percent shooting and 9.5 rebounds in his last six matchups with New Jersey, while Jones – averaging 5.6 points in 2011-12 – has scored 11.3 per game while shooting 54.4 percent in his last nine.