Indiana battled back to take a lead late against Cleveland but could
not make the plays it needed at the end and ended up falling 111-106
to close out a 2-2 homestand. “Very, very frustrating, because we
put together a solid game and were in position to win this one,"
All-Star forward Paul George, who struggled to 3-of-15 from the
field, told reporters. "It's been the story of the season for us –
play well enough to win it and lose it late in the game.” The Nets
can understand that sentiment after falling for the fourth straight
time on Monday, with three of those losses coming by five or fewer
points. Monday’s 105-100 loss to the Detroit Pistons was the 14th
setback in the last 16 games and featured some poor execution down
TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, FSN Indiana, YES (Brooklyn)
ABOUT THE PACERS (25-23): Indiana is transitioning rookie Myles
Turner into a bigger role and is willing to put up with some
struggles, such as the forward forgetting a screen on the final play
of regulation on Monday. Turner finished with 14 points and 10
rebounds, but his missed screen led to one of Monta Ellis’ 11 missed
shots on the night. “There are plenty of positives (Monday),” Pacers
coach Frank Vogel told reporters. “We are an improving team. We’ve
changed, we’re evolving and we’ve got great promise to have a strong
second half of the season. It’s frustrating too, but I’m encouraged.
Our two best scorers had off shooting nights and we had a chance to
beat the best team in the East."
[to top of second column]
ABOUT THE NETS (12-37): Brooklyn has been in a position to win of
late thanks to center Brook Lopez, who is averaging 26.4 points on
57.1 percent shooting and 9.4 rebounds in the last five games. “I
was just trying to be aggressive when I got it and I think we are
all doing a good job of that,” Lopez told reporters after putting up
27 points against the Pistons. “When we are getting looks, we are
taking them. That’s obviously the first rule to making shots, you
have to take them.” The Nets could use some more made shots from
guard Joe Johnson, who went 1-of-8 from the field on Monday.
1. Nets C Andrea Bargnani scored 18 points on Monday after totaling
two in the previous two games.
2. Pacers C Ian Mahinmi (sore lower back) sat out the last two games
and is day-to-day.
3. George led the way with 23 points and 10 rebounds as Indiana
earned a 104-97 home win over Brooklyn on Dec. 18.
PREDICTION: Pacers 102, Nets 96
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