Indianapolis, IN – The Brooklyn Nets opened up a sizeable lead and saw it completely disappear, but fought back and was able to hold on for a 117-109 win over the Indiana Pacers to sweep the season series.
Deron Williams had 33 points -- with 25 in the first half -- and dished out 14 assists, but appeared to injure his knee with 25 seconds left in the game when he collided with Paul George. He exited and was seen laboring on the bench.
Brooklyn, winners of four in a row and victors in all three of its regular- season meetings with Indiana, kept its hopes alive for the No. 3 seed and secured home-court advantage in the first round with Chicago's lost to Toronto. The Nets trail the Pacers by two games with three left to play.
"This was a good one for us," Williams said. "There's still a chance we can catch them."
Brook Lopez had 24 points and five blocks. Joe Johnson had 24 as well and Jerry Stackhouse added 13 points off the bench for the Nets, who were without Gerald Wallace. The veteran forward suffered a left heel contusion in Wednesday's win over Boston.
The Pacers trailed by as many as 24 points in the third quarter, rallied to take the lead in the fourth, but couldn't hold on to the advantage as they lost for the third time in four games.
David West had a team-leading 26 points with nine rebounds, George scored 21 and Roy Hibbert had 18 points and 10 boards in the setback.
"We can't dig these kinds of holes," said West. "We have to have a little more resolve, draw a line in the sand defensively."
The Nets came out firing on all cylinders, connecting on 13 of their first 17 shots. Lopez made his first six from the field and the Nets led by as many as 10 before taking a 34-27 lead into the second.
Williams then became the headache for Indiana, with the Nets All-Star guard spearheading an impressive 26-8 run with 18 points. In the last 4 1/2 minutes of the half, he sank all four of his 3-pointers as Brooklyn built a 21-point lead.
Indiana, which allows the second fewest points per game at 90.2, surrendered a season-high 69 points in the half and over 100 in game for the fourth time in its last six. They went into the locker room trailing by 19.
A four-point play from Williams and a tough fadeaway from Johnson pushed Brooklyn's lead to 76-52, but it lost Reggie Evans for the game when the forward was tossed for picking up two technicals.
The Pacers seemed inspired off the Nets' loss and an ensuing 17-4 surge had them within four, 85-81, following a 3-pointer from George. Brooklyn finally cooled down, making just 36.8 percent of its shots in the period, and held only a seven-point lead heading into the final stanza.
The comeback came full circle with five minutes left in the game, when the Pacers took their first lead at 101-99 on a Lance Stephenson 3-pointer, but it wouldn't last.
Brooklyn, as it did all game, buried the Pacers from beyond the arc, as Johnson and Stackhouse went back-to-back from distance. The Nets were 12- for-25 on 3-pointers for the game and layups from Lopez and Andray Blatche created a safe seven-point cushion with 1:09 to play to seal the win.
The Nets have won four in a row overall against the Pacers since losing 10 consecutive in the series ... Stephenson had 13 points for Indiana, which outscored Brooklyn in the paint, 58-28 ... The Pacers shot 50 percent (40- for-80) from the field, while the Nets made 51.2 percent (42-for-82) of their shots.