Nets stay in contention with 123-111 win over Pacers

By on March 22, 2015

“After the tough game last night we had great energy and we controlled the game from the start,” Bogdanovic said on the YES Network. “My teammates were trying to look for me and that’s the only reason why I’m playing better. I really don’t want to talk about me. We’re playing great basketball the last couple of games and we’re trying to win games.”

It was the Nets fourth win in five games and marked their first back-to-back victories since December, allowing them to pick up a full game on ninth-place Indiana and a half game on idle Boston in the Eastern Conference standings. The Nets now trail Boston by just a game for eighth place with a matchup against the Celtics coming Monday at home.

“We overcame a lot from last night to win the game,” Lionel Hollins said. “We played a lot of minutes from last night. Everybody had to contribute in order to get a win. Bogey made some big threes and made some big plays. We’ve been fighting and playing.”

Asked if Saturday’s game was a must-win and if the season was hanging on the game, Hollins demurred.

Lionel Hollins has his team win back-to-back games for the first time since December.Ron Hoskins/NBAE/Getty Images

Lionel Hollins has his team win back-to-back games for the first time since December.

“Well, what happens if we lose?” he said before the game. “We play another game. All these games are important at this point.”

After missing five of six shots on Friday and not playing in crunch time, Deron Williams caught fire in the first quarter on Saturday, hitting five of six shots, though he again didn’t play much in the fourth. Playing with a bounce in his step, Williams scored 15 points in the first quarter, surpassing 12,000 for his career.

The rest of the Nets picked it up in the second quarter as Brooklyn converted its first nine shots, including a 15-foot jumper by Mason Plumlee that caused the team’s bench to erupt since he doesn’t normally score from the outside. That gave the Nets a 53-44 lead with 5:28 left in the half.

Williams continued his dynamic play in the second quarter, driving around several defenders and feeding Plumlee for a resounding dunk to put the Nets up 10. The Nets led 63-56 at the half behind Williams’ 17 points, the most he’s scored in any half this season. Williams finished with 17 but was benched for the final 17 minutes of the game.

After the Pacers pulled to within a point with nearly seven minutes left, the Nets scored seven straight to resume control at 106-98. A three by Bogdanovic pushed the Nets’ lead to 109-100 with four minutes left. Moments later, Lopez buried a 19-footer to make it a 10-point game.  

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