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Nets' bench, especially Brook Lopez, ineffective as Pacers romp

Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez reacts after missing

Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez reacts after missing a shot against the Indiana Pacers in an NBA game at Barclays Center on Saturday, Dec. 27, 2014. Photo Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

The Nets sure aren't big on prosperity these days.

They had an opportunity to build on their season-best three-game winning streak when they hosted the reeling Pacers Saturday night. The setup provided the perfect scenario, a platform that could've triggered even more confidence for a team still searching for consistency.

But Indiana didn't cooperate. Neither did the Nets' jump shots.

They shot 36.4 percent and turned the ball over 16 times, numbers that directly led to a numbing 110-85 loss at Barclays Center.

Jarrett Jack had 22 points and six rebounds, Joe Johnson added 18 points, six rebounds and six assists and Sergey Karasev scored a career-high 14 points for the Nets (13-16). But take away the shooting of Jack and Karasev, and the rest of the Nets shot 13-for-53 (24.5 percent).

Rodney Stuckey had 20 points and eight assists for the Pacers (11-20). David West and former Net C.J. Watson had 17 points each.

What's most concerning for the Nets is this: Brook Lopez, coming off the bench for a third straight game as he tries to return to form, once again was a non-factor and is growing visibly more frustrated with each performance. He failed to score in 15 minutes, missing all five attempts, and collected five rebounds and two assists.

Lopez shook his head so much, he could have been mistaken for a human bobblehead doll. Every time he misfired, he jogged back on defense in a state of bewilderment.

Deron Williams, in his second game back from a calf strain, wasn't quite as bad as Lopez, but he didn't do much. He went 2-for-7, finishing with seven points and three assists.

Despite all of their offensive futility, the Nets actually led in the third quarter, albeit briefly. Kevin Garnett, playing in the second game of a back-to-back for only the second time in six opportunities this season, gave the Nets a 51-50 edge with 10:55 left in the quarter.

But West's layup 19 seconds later put the Pacers ahead and the Nets never came close to sniffing the lead again. West had 10 points in the third quarter alone, which was eight fewer than the Nets' output in the period.

The Nets threw the ball away nine times in the third quarter and Indiana cashed the turnovers into 12 points. The Nets also yielded 18 points in the paint in the third and watched the Pacers close the quarter with a 10-4 burst that gave them a 14-point lead heading into the fourth quarter.

A brutal second quarter forced the Nets to play catch-up, quickly erasing the slight momentum they gained in leading 23-22 after the initial 12 minutes. They misfired on 24 of 30 shots during one span, falling behind by as many as nine points, and shot 6-for-22 in the quarter. Johnson and Williams were particularly cold from the floor, going a combined 1-for-8.

The Nets' bench was unproductive in the second quarter, scoring seven points and going 2-for-13 from the field. Rebounding also was an issue. Indiana collected a 16-7 edge on the boards and the Nets got only one second-chance opportunity.

Karasev's three-pointer with 3:29 left in the half snapped a 5:29 drought without a field goal for the Nets, bringing them within 42-38. But they couldn't shave any more off the deficit until Karasev drained the second of a pair of free throws with 6.9 seconds remaining to send the Nets into the break trailing 50-47.

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