Revamped Pacers rely on new faces to cut down Nets
INDIANAPOLIS — Victor Oladipo scored 22 points in his Indiana debut, Darren Collison added 21 points and 11 assists in his return to Indianapolis, and the Pacers held off the Brooklyn Nets 140-131 on Wednesday night in their season opener.
Eight players scored in double figures as the Pacers, in their first game since trading All-Star Paul George, produced their highest point total since a 144-point game against Denver on Nov. 9, 2010. Myles Turner had 21 points and 14 rebounds, and Thaddeus Young added 17 points and 11 rebounds.
D’Angelo Russell scored 30 points in his Nets debut but backcourt mate Jeremy Lin limped to the locker room with an injury midway through the fourth quarter. Trevor Booker finished with 20 points and 10 rebounds, but it wasn’t enough to prevent the Nets from losing a franchise-record fifth consecutive season opener.
Despite having chances to take control, neither could.
Brooklyn led 30-29 after one quarter, the Pacers took a 65-63 halftime lead and then used a 10-0 third-quarter run to build a 75-65 lead. Brooklyn never led again.
But the Nets charged back in the final minutes, trimming a 10-point deficit to 130-126 before the Pacers finally managed to close it out.
Nets: Have lost all six road openers since moving to Brooklyn. … The Nets are 3-3 all-time against Indiana in season openers, the opponent they have played most frequently on opening night. … Brooklyn put Timofey Mozgov and Lin in the starting lineup Wednesday, marking the first time in franchise history that more than one undrafted player started a season opener. … Brooklyn was 29 of 32 from the free-throw line. … Lin had 18 points, while Allen Crabbe and Caris LeVert each finished with 12.
Pacers: Won their fourth straight game against Brooklyn. … Indiana has won six of its last seven season openers and seven of its last eight home openers. … Bojan Bogdanovic scored 14 points against his former team. … Lance Stephenson and Domantas Sabonis each scored 16 points off the bench. … Oladipo also had four steals. … It’s only the third time since 2000 that Indiana has scored 140 or more points.
Nets: Host Orlando in home opener on Saturday.
Pacers: Host Portland on Friday.
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