Game Recap

The Pacers tried to shake up the Eastern Conference’s playoff standings in their final game of the season. But, while the Blue & Gold gave it their all in attempting to play spoiler, Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, and company proved to be too much to overcome. Indiana erased a 16-point halftime hole and tied the game twice in the third quarter. Unfortunately, they never took the lead. The Pacers (25-57) capped their tumultuous campaign with a 134-126 defeat to Brooklyn (44-38) at Barclays Center.

Irving led the way with a game-high 35 points, and Durant finished with a triple-double after a rough start. The star tallied 20 points, 10 boards, and a career-high 16 assists. The Nets also found extreme success on the inside against the Pacers’ small interior, as they scored 74 points in the paint — 18 from Andre Drummond. He finished with 20 total points.

Meanwhile, seven Pacers finished in double figures to end the season. Oshae Brissett finished strong, recording a team-high 28 points and eight rebounds, and Buddy Hield added 21 points, including five triples. Additionally, Tyrese Haliburton recorded a 17-point, 10-assist double-double, while Duane Washington Jr. posted 18 points off the bench. Head coach Rick Carlisle offered his summary of the contest during postgame interviews.

“(It was) a disappointing first half but a great second half,” he said. “But once again it’s 48 (minutes). And we’re going to have to do a lot better as we move forward next year.

“The summer begins now.”

It was another quick start for a Pacers opponent as Brooklyn scored the first eight points of the contest. Their edge stayed that way over the next several minutes.

Indiana got back on track midway through the frame. First, Brissett hit the squad’s second triple. Then, on the Nets’ inbound play, Hield performed his best T.J. McConnell impression and picked off the entry pass for the easy finish. The heads-up play trimmed the deficit to 18-13 with 6:10 remaining.

However, Brooklyn quickly ended the momentum shift, using a 17-4 run over the next 3:05 to grab a 30-17 lead.

Down the stretch, the Blue & Gold used a 7-0 run to get within striking distance. But, Brooklyn used the paint to regain control. Irving capped the Nets’ 41-point first quarter with a buzzer-beating fadeaway along the baseline. Indiana trailed 41-29 after one.

Brooklyn opened the frame with back-to-back threes, threatening to pull away. But, the Pacers countered with six quick transition points to negate it. The run included two stellar assists from Gabe York to Duane Washington Jr.

Washington continued to help the Pacers stay within reach. At the 7:30 mark, the rookie drilled his fourth bucket of the half — his first from deep — to cut the gap to 52-40.

Yet, the Blue & Gold struggled to contain the Nets’ offense on the other end. Without a big center to defend the paint, the buckets fell too easily. Consecutive dunks from Drummond gave Brooklyn a 62-45 advantage with 4:22 to go.

A string of crafty Pacers buckets, including one off a flashy dime from Lance Stephenson, trimmed the Pacers’ deficit to 68-55 with 1:54 to play. But, Brooklyn stretched its advantage to 76-60 before halftime.

Mimicking Brooklyn’s second-quarter start, Indiana began the third quarter with back-to-back threes. Hield and McConnell’s snipes forced the Nets to call an early timeout at the 10:38 mark.

Despite the stoppage, the Blue & Gold extended their streak to 11 unanswered points after Brissett and Haliburton joined the party. Although Bruce Brown broke the run with a jumper, Brissett would retaliate with back-to-back threes to cut the deficit to 78-77 with 8:33 remaining. In total, it was a 17-2 Indiana run, with nine coming from the Syracuse forward.

Although Brooklyn remained ahead, Indiana was fully back into the game. After draining his third triple, McConnell found Jackson for an alley-oop slam to cut the deficit to 87-84 with 6:25 left.

With 4:40 remaining, the Pacers earned an 89-89 tie after McConnell found Terry Taylor for a running layup. After Brooklyn responded, Taylor tied it again with a layup off a Hield dish.

But with two opportunities to take its first lead, Indiana came up short. Among the misses, the Nets reeled off a 7-0 run to regain a 98-91 lead with 1:51 remaining. Indiana failed to respond, and Brooklyn led 103-94 going into the final frame.

Brooklyn briefly extended the lead to double digits. But Indiana shrank it immediately. After a couple of Pacer trips to the charity stripe, Washington hit his fourth triple to cut the deficit to 107-103 with 9:39 left.

However, the Nets responded with six straight — four from Irving — to stretch their lead to 113-103 with 7:58 left.

Yet, Indiana was not going away quietly. Trailing 120-108, Brissett and Hield combined for five straight to trim the deficit to seven with 5:26 remaining.

Two buckets from Irving, including a crisp step-back three, pushed the Nets’ lead to 127-115 with 3:46 left. Brissett attempted to start a rally with four straight, cutting the gap to eight. After Brooklyn sank three free throws, he added another layup.

Then, with 1:26 to go, Hield brought the margin to 130-124 with his fifth 3-pointer. But that was as close as they got down the stretch. The Nets sealed the deal with a dunk from Brown.

Inside the Numbers

In his third consecutive game, T.J. McConnell (14 points, five assists) finished a team-high +7 in 30:52 of action.

Lance Stephenson and Terry Taylor each finished with 10 points off the bench in their final appearances of the season. Stephenson added five assists while Taylor tallied six offensive rebounds.

The Pacers committed just seven turnovers for the game — a season low.

Brooklyn shot 69 percent (29-of-42) from the floor in the first half and 64.2 percent (52-of-81) for the game.

You Can Quote Me On That

“It’s great. You have to be proud of the fight. (We) just have to go into the offseason, see what we can do here, and come back and make a run at the playoffs next year. I think we’ll have the pieces to do that.” –McConnell on ending the season with a valiant effort

“We have to keep finding high-character guys that love to play. That’s what it is. He’s also a great competitor, and his competitive spirit is the reason he’s in this league to start with. He’s built a career, and in his mind, there was no way he wasn’t going to play if he was able. That’s a beautiful thing.” –Carlisle on McConnell’s return and impact

Stat of the Night

Indiana allowed a season-high 74 points in the paint to the Nets — 55.2 percent of their total score.

Noteworthy

  • Tyrese Haliburton averaged 17.5 points, 9.6 assists, in 4.3 rebounds over the first 26 games of his Pacers career — a sign of great things to come.
  • Indiana will receive its first single-digit draft pick since 1989.
  • The Pacers ended the season with a 10-game losing streak.

Tickets

Interested in tickets for the 2022-23 Pacers season? Sign up today to learn about season ticket plans for next year. 2022-23 Season Tickets »




Source link

By admin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *