Nets, eliminated from contention, damage Pacers’ standing

Cam Thomas led Brooklyn with 27 points as the Nets defeated the Indiana Pacers 115-111 on Wednesday in New York.

Jalen Wilson sank two free throws with seven seconds remaining to seal the victory after Tyrese Haliburton hit a 3-pointer to keep the Pacers in the game.

There were four lead changes and two ties during the tightly contested fourth quarter, with neither team leading by more than six points during the frame.

Brooklyn’s Mikal Bridges hit a crucial 3-pointer after collecting an offensive rebound to tie the game at 108 with 1:23 remaining. Bridges drew a charge on the other end, and Dennis Schroder followed up with a layup for a 110-108 lead.

The Nets (30-47) closed the game on a 10-3 run to avoid getting swept by the Pacers (43-34) after losing the teams’ two earlier meetings, including a 133-111 setback on Monday in Indianapolis.

The loss leaves Indiana tied for the sixth and final automatic Eastern Conference playoff position with the Miami Heat (42-33). With the Atlanta Hawks’ win over the Orlando Magic on Wednesday, the Nets were officially eliminated from postseason contention.

Brooklyn rookie reserve Noah Clowney logged career-high totals of 22 points and 10 rebounds. Bridges had 17 points, seven rebounds and four assists. Nic Claxton amassed 14 points and 13 rebounds, while Dennis Schroder finished with 12 points, 11 assists and six boards. Dorian Finney-Smith had 10 points.

Pascal Siakam led Indiana with 26 points, including 15 in the fourth quarter. Tyrese Haliburton had 24 points and eight assists, and Obi Toppin chipped in 14 points and eight rebounds off the bench.

After winning both earlier meetings in lopsided fashion, the Pacers got off to another strong start against the Nets. They led by as much as 14 points late in the first quarter.

The Nets responded with 42 points in the second quarter to trim the deficit to 62-61 entering halftime.

Brooklyn led by as much as 13 points in the third quarter before the Pacers went on a run of their own to make it a close game down the stretch.

–Field Level Media