Running thoughts: Pacers 123, Nets 119

Here are my running thoughts from the Pacers’ 123-119 win over the Brooklyn Nets Saturday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

  • Pacers coach Nate McMillan stressed to his team pregame that they have to get back to playing better defense. He also reminded him how they have lost three in row here in their building – by an average of four points.
  • Domantas Sabonis played earlier than usual because Thad Young picked up two fouls in less than four minutes.
  • Sluggish start for the Pacers, who fell behind 21-9. The Nets made each of their 3-point tries and assisted on 8 of 9 field goals.
  • Oladipo is completely comfortable in isolation. He took advantage of his matchup multiple times and nailed 4-of-6 shots in the first quarter for nine points. He and Turner scored 16 of the team’s 21 points, getting nothing from the other three starters.
  • Opposite of the first half, the Pacers burst out of the locker room and ripped off 11 straight points. It started on the defensive end, stringing together stops. Trimmed the deficit to five less than three minutes in.
  • Bogdanovic needs to see something go his way. He’s missed several open jumpers and turned it over a few times. All about confidence.
  • Pacers have finally given the fans a reason two get into the game. The Pacers, who dug themselves a 19-point hole, got a stop, then Collison drained a 3-pointer in transition to take back the lead, 69-68. They outscored the Nets 28-11 to begin the third quarter.
  • An impressive third stanza from the Blue & Gold. They shot 76 percent from the floor, including 6 of 9 from range, to outscore the Nets by 15 points. Myles Turner got in a groove, even letting his frustrations out on a one-handed dunk. He was 5 of 5 for 13 points in the quarter.
  • Bogdanovic with a fist pump after he fiiiinally sees a 3-pointer go down early in the fourth. He needed it. The frustration had built up after missing his first three tries.
  • We got the shimmy from Lance last time Brooklyn was in town. He just did it again after somehow scoring the layup in traffic. And 1. It put Indiana up 93-84, their largest lead of the game.
  • Lance’s energy is contagious – spreading to the players and fans alike. That’s one of the big reasons he played much of the second half.
  • Oladipo hearing “M-V-P” chants as he shot free throws with 90 seconds less. He finished with 38 points, his seventh game this season scoring 30 or more.
  • This Pacers group continues to make fans nervous with tight finishes. Cory Joseph fouled Spencer Dinwiddie behind the line. Dinwiddie calmly stepped to the foul line and sank all three to even the score at 111 with 19.9 seconds to go.
  • This one required an extra session. (First OT game of the season for Brooklyn.) Oladipo, waiting until the final seconds, missed a 3-pointer from the top of the key. I would’ve liked to see Vic, or another Pacer, attack rather than settle for the pull-up J.
  • The Nets played last night in Brooklyn, and won. The Pacers had two days between games. McMillan stressed in camp that he wanted them in Olympic-like shape.
  • Oladipo is the guy the Pacers want at the foul line. He made all 10 tries and finished with 38 points.
  • It’s the Pacers’ sixth straight win in the series and at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. They meet once more this season, Feb. 14 in Brooklyn.
  • Myles Turner rejected six shots, which matched his career high. He was one rebound shy of a double-double with 23 and 9.
  • Up next: The Pacers (19-14) will play for just the second time in six days, playing at Detroit the day after Christmas, on Dec. 26. They then complete a back-to-back on Wednesday against Yogi Ferrell and the Dallas Mavericks.

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