NBA Preview from The Sports Network|
Monday, December 23rd
(All times Eastern)
Indiana Pacers (22-5) at Brooklyn Nets (9-17), 7:30 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Brooklyn Nets will try to salvage their season in a
post Brook Lopez world, starting Monday night with a home contest against the
On Saturday, the Nets announced Lopez would be lost for the season after
breaking the fifth metatarsal bone in his right foot for the third time in his
"Disappointed for Brook," GM Billy King told the team's website. "As an
organization, losing a player like that hurts, but mainly for Brook Lopez.
He's been through a lot. I know Brook. He's going to do everything he can to
be back on the court. So now we've gotta let him meet with the doctors and let
him figure it out from there."
This season has been an injury-riddled disaster for the Nets. Deron Williams
missed a ton of time with ankle injuries, Paul Pierce had a broken hand and
Jason Terry and Andrei Kirilenko both have barely seen the floor.
The only two staples in the Brooklyn lineup have been Joe Johnson and Kevin
Garnett and that pair both sat in a heartbreaking 121-120 overtime loss on
Friday to the Philadelphia 76ers in Philly.
Evan Turner's runner as time expired hit every part of the rim before falling
"You gotta give Philly credit," said Brooklyn head coach Jason Kidd. "They
played hard throughout the whole game."
Alan Anderson led the Nets with 26 points, followed by 24 and 10 rebounds for
Pierce and 22 from Lopez, who got hurt early in the fourth quarter, but
continued to play.
Williams had 17 points and 14 assists and Mirza Teletovic finished with 18.
Shaun Livingston handed out 11 helpers.
Things don't get easier for the Nets, who welcome Roy Hibbert, Paul George and
the Pacers to town. Andray Blatche is expected to replace Lopez in the
starting lineup and he'll draw Hibbert.
Indiana has won two straight since a loss in Miami on Wednesday. The Pacers
still own the best record in the Eastern Conference and demolished the Boston
Celtics, 106-79 Sunday night in Indianapolis.
Lance Stephenson filled the stat sheet with 12 points, 10 rebounds, and 10
assists. Stephenson now has three triple-doubles this season -- two of which
came against the Celtics -- and is the only player in the Association with
more than one.
"It really means a lot to me, but I want to thank my teammates for making it
easy," said Stephenson. "They knocked down open shots and we make smart plays.
When we play together, the sky is the limit for us."
Paul George paced Indiana with 24 points, while Roy Hibbert added 15 points
with 12 rebounds and three blocks. Danny Granger contributed 12 points off the
bench to build off a five-point effort in his season debut against Houston on
The Pacers beat the Nets by five in Brooklyn on Nov. 9 and have taken seven of
the last nine as the visitor in this series.
12/23 10:20:41 ET