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Pacers final score: Pacers close out Nets 109-97

Indiana finished strong in a road win over Brooklyn, led by Victor Oladipo with 26 points and Domantas Sabonis with 17.

NBA: Indiana Pacers at Brooklyn Nets Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports

Though tonight’s game didn’t have the same offensive fireworks as the season opening meeting, it did have the same result, with the Indiana Pacers topping the Brooklyn Nets, halting their losing skid at two games. The Pacers actually shot better than that first game of the year tonight, finishing 56.6% from the floor, and dishing 21 assists.

Indiana looked much more comfortable tonight than they have in recent games, but they did have to work early to get the game sorted into their favor. The Nets led 29-28 after one, in large part thanks to Allen Crabbe, who scored 14 of his team high 17 in the first, hitting three threes as well as converting on all three of his free throw attempts.

The Pacers took the lead early in the second with back-to-back threes and never looked back. They were able to build and maintain their lead with a big first half from Domantas Sabonis. Sabonis had 11 points in the first half, finishing with a bench high 17 while also leading the charge in terms of rebounding (eight, three offensive) and blocks (three). Sabonis had no issues inside, hitting six of his seven field goals in the paint, with the Pacers outscoring Brooklyn 44-38.

They never relinquished the lead, but the Pacers had to work to hold onto it. In the third quarter, the Nets routinely trimmed the lead to six, but the Pacers were there at every turn to push the game back to three possessions. Darren Collison finished with 14 points and seven assists, hitting a buzzer beater to end the third, pushing Indiana up 80-72.

The shot ended up being big because it halted a 6-0 run by Joe Harris that cut the Pacers lead to six. To start the fourth, Jarrett Allen converted on a three point play that could have made it a one possession game if not for Collison’s jumper. Instead, it remained two possessions and the Pacers ran off eight straight points to go up double figures.

That wasn’t the last push for the Nets, who would bring the game to seven with 4:37 remaining after Quincy Acy hit the Nets’ first three pointer of the second half, after hitting 10 as a team in the first half. Cory Joseph responded to push the lead to 10, wrapping up a 15-point night of his own.

Joseph shot 5-7 from the field, but was impressive in the timing of his shots. Three separate times he pushed the lead to nine points, two others to eight and 10, playing the role of a insurmountable wall in Brooklyn’s comeback attempt. Joseph’s final points helped spark the Pacers to a strong close, pushing their lead to as high as 16 in the final minutes.

Myles Turner had six points in the fourth to help close the game, finishing with 16 points and six boards, including a pair of big dunks late in the pick-and-roll game.

Turner actually found most of his success at the rim, scoring 12 inside, including a pair of assists from Victor Oladipo, who led the Pacers with 26 points and seven rebounds. Oladipo has struggled shooting the past couple of games, but came through tonight on 9-14 shooting, including a familiar 4-6 from three point range.

He also came up with the play of the game, an alley-oop recipient from Lance Stephenson:

All in all, the Pacers looked much more like the team that finds themselves in the middle of a tight race between the 4-10 seeds in the East than the team that struggled the last couple of games. They appeared more comfortable, even getting Alex Poythress involved with a first half block.

Below .500 opposition doesn’t hurt the opportunities to play well, but the Pacers did lose their last game to a below .500 opponent, so there’s never anything guaranteed in the NBA outside of effort, and the Pacers showcased that effort tonight. They’ll need to bring this and more tomorrow night as they’re given a very tall task on a back-to-back on the road against the East-leading Boston Celtics.