NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Down to eight healthy players, the New Jersey Nets put together one of their best finishes to a game all season.
Deron Williams had 30 points and nine assists and injury-ravaged New Jersey beat the Indiana Pacers 100-84 Wednesday night in a game the Nets finished with eight healthy players.
“This was probably our best home win of the season against a playoff team,” said Williams, who hit 11 of 19 from the field and had only one turnover.
Rookie MarShon Brooks added 17 points and Gerald Green had 14 as the woeful Nets won for the second time in eight games and handed the Pacers their second loss in six. The 16-point margin of victory was the largest of the season for New Jersey (17-35).
“We needed a win,” Brooks said. “This was a good team win, everyone pitched in a little bit and played good team defense.”
The Nets started the game with only 10 healthy players and lost starting center Shelden Williams with an injury to his right eye in the second quarter and backup center Jordan Williams with concussion-like symptoms in the third. Shelden Williams went to the hospital afterward.
Deron Williams said having three players left on the bench wasn’t an issue.
“I don’t think you really think about it when you are playing the game,” he said. “It’s just something that happens. Guys go down sometimes and you just have to keep playing. I just try to keep playing the same way no matter what.”
This was the second time the Nets won with only eight healthy players. They beat Detroit earlier this season when the Pistons were playing their third game in as many night.
Paul George had 22 points to lead Indiana.
The Nets, who have been notorious for giving away games in the fourth quarter, instead expanded their lead in the final 12 minutes, turning a two-point lead into a 21-point advantage.
Deron Williams had 13 points in the fourth quarter and the Nets hit 9 of their first 14 shots in the period. Gerald Wallace opened it by putting in a rebound to ignite an eight-point run. Brooks hit a 10-footer after a Pacers’ turnover and Deron Williams hit two jumpers to help New Jersey snap a 10-game losing streak against the Pacers, including three this season.
George scored 10 points in the third quarter but, for a change, the Nets would not be denied.
Deron Williams hit a jumper and a 3-pointer and set up a layup by Wallace and 3-pointer by Green in sparking a 12-6 run at the end of the first half that gave New Jersey a 49-43 lead.
Kris Humphries added 12 points and eight rebounds for New Jersey. Pacers leading scorer Danny Granger was limited to five points before fouling out.
Pacers coach Frank Vogel wasn’t happy with his team.
“I think every team in the NBA has nights where the energy isn’t there, and that was certainly the case tonight,” Vogel said. “Anytime you play like that you’re concerned.”
Granger said it was an understatement to a say the Pacers lacked intensity two night after beating Miami.
“We were kind of sleep-walking, and they took it to us.” said Granger, who was 2 of 8 from the field.
Forward David West was even more blunt.
“We just can’t come out and play like this against a team like the Nets,” he said. “It’s embarrassing.”
Deron Williams laughed when asked if the Nets were upset that the Pacers felt they were an inferior team.
“We are a sub-par team,” Williams said without hesitation. “We just played better than them tonight.”
NOTES: Vogel, two assistants, six players and roughly 20 members of the traveling group went to Broadway on Tuesday night to see a preview of “Magic/Bird,” which is set to open in April. … A native of Wildwood Crest in southern New Jersey, Vogel only needed six tickets for the game, including one for his mother. The last time he was here, he needed 30 tickets. … The Nets only had 10 players available with backup point G Jordan Farmar and backup shooting G Anthony Morrow (shoulder) each out for the second straight game. …Indiana’s starting five has missed a combined two games this season, with F Danny Granger missing both. … Nets starting C Brook Lopez has only played five games this season. …The Nets previous largest win was 13 points against Charlotte last week.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)