The Indiana Pacers picked the wrong time to go cold from the floor, losing an eight point lead early in the fourth quarter to a 17-0 Brooklyn Nets run. The Pacers were disrupted when foul trouble came to a tilt, frustrations from the Pacers about the calls leading to a pair of technical fouls. Indiana may have gotten the short end of the stick on calls, especially early in the fourth on a night that led the Nets to shoot 19 extra free throws, but the Pacers' 3-22 shooting in the fourth quarter added another element to their collapse.
The loss leaves a bad taste in the mouths of the Pacers, who had a 12-point lead in the third quarter and had done a solid job controlling the tempo and putting themselves in solid position to at least have an opportunity late if they did have a collapse. The Nets really came out in the fourth and made the game their own with easy jumpers for Brook Lopez and all ten of their free throws, leading the way to a 28-point quarter for Brooklyn.
Indiana was led by David West early and often, who had a game high 27 on 11-19 shooting, including his first five shots, but missed his final four, including 0-3 in the fourth quarter. The Pacers lost Lance Stephenson in the first quarter to a right foot injury, a loss that may have had an issue late, but was covered well by a solid all around game from Gerald Green. Despite a couple of lost plays, Green had 15 points and five boards, getting a lot of good looks inside.
Green and West made up for 10 of Indiana's 12 free throw attempts on the night. It seemed they just couldn't get the calls they were looking for, especially Paul George, who seems to be doing all he can to get a whistle when attacking the basket. George finished with a 15/12 double double on 6-18 shooting, adding in six steals. While Green played well, the bench didn't pick up the slack scoring the ball when given the opportunities. Ian Mahinmi had five in quality minutes spelling for Roy Hibbert's foul trouble, but playing too far off of Lopez really helped spark the Nets in that fourth quarter.
Hibbert's night was limited with foul trouble, he and George each finished with five and West had four, but was able to play well when he was on the floor, swatting away six shots to go with six points and seven rebounds. George Hill had 13 on 6-13 shooting. While the key swing in the game was the free throw scoring, Indiana did a poor job boxing out on second chance shots for Brooklyn, allowing Kris Humphries to grab what seemed like every Nets miss as they tallied up 16 offensive boards.
The offensive rebounds led the Pacers to lose the rebounding edge, and with the free throw disparity weren't able to overcome a poor offensive quarter to pull out the win. It's a loss that stings, but with the injury to Stephenson and six more road games in their next seven contests, they can't let it linger. The Pacers will travel to Charlotte for a rematch with the Bobcats on Tuesday night, looking to snap a three-game road losing streak.