INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Indiana Pacers knew they would need to reach deep into their bench Friday night in order to get a win.
With three players sitting out due to injuries — including Paul George, who is nursing a sore left ankle and a nagging back injury — Indiana not only relied on its depth, the Pacers used it to dismantle the Nets 118-97, Brooklyn’s sixth straight loss.
Eleven Pacers dressed Friday night, and nine played at least 18 minutes. Glenn Robinson III got his second start of the season and finished with 20 points and five rebounds.
“I just came in ready. I had the right mindset. (Coach) Nate (McMillan) talked to me before the game, told me I was starting, I was going to play big minutes,” Robinson said. “I thought we brought the energy. We were intense defensively. We’re just starting to get our chemistry and we’ve just got to keep going.”
After losing two of their last three games, the Pacers were in sync, clicking and gelling on the court.
Following Indiana’s practice on Thursday, George gathered the Pacers for a players-only meeting, addressing some of Indiana’s shortcomings and kinks that needed worked out. Robinson noted that the Pacers needed to gather and discuss some of the problems that have hampered a team that had a lot of preseason hype.
“For us, we have to establish who we are. We need to establish our identity,” McMillan said. “Tonight, I thought they set the tone. We can’t go back. We’ve been up and down. We have to move forward and build off this game, have intensity on both ends of the floor.”
Rodney Stuckey scored 18 points, and Al Jefferson and Myles Turner each finished with 16 points.
After an 11-0 Nets run in the first quarter, Indiana trailed by seven points. But the Pacers finished the quarter with a 6-0 run to lead 28-23. Brooklyn would pull within 39-35 during the second quarter, but it was the closest they would come to challenging Indiana.
The Pacers led by 15 points at halftime and stretched their lead to 30 in the third quarter with a 20-5 run. The Pacers led by as many as 31 points.
Turner finished with eight rebounds and four blocked shots. And Jeff Teague finished with nine points, eight assists and nine rebounds. Indiana scored 27 points off Brooklyn’s 20 turnovers.
Trevor Booker finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds, recording his sixth double-double of the season for the Nets while Brook Lopez finished with 20 points and Sean Kilpatrick added 16 points and seven assists.
“I think it came down to competitiveness. They outworked us, and they were more focused than us for the majority of the game,” Lopez said. “We were lax on both ends of the floor. We need to fight. We need to grind every possession to give ourselves a shot. The guys in the locker room right now are the ones that can fix it.”
Brooklyn: The Nets are 0-5 in road games this season when their opponent scores more than 120 points. . Brooklyn is 0-5 this season when scoring less than 100 points. . Brooklyn is 1-7 on the road this season.
Indiana: George will sit out the next two games. CJ Miles and Kevin Seraphin sat out Friday night due to sore knees. . Indiana’s bench scored 48 points Friday night. . Through 16 games this season, Indiana has averaged 22.7 assists per game. The Pacers finished with 25 assists Friday night. . The 21-point win was Indiana’s largest margin of the season. . Indiana’s 31-point lead was its largest in any game this season.