NBA Game Summary - Indiana at New Jersey
(Wednesday, March 26th)
Final Score: New Jersey 124, Indiana 117
East Rutherford, NJ (Sports Network) - Josh Boone scored a career-high 26 points as New Jersey dumped Indiana, 124-117, at the Izod Center.
Devin Harris added 22 points and a career-high 15 assists for the Nets, who have won two consecutive games and remained one-half game behind the Atlanta Hawks for the final Eastern Conference playoff berth. Atlanta beat Milwaukee 115-96 on Wednesday night.
Vince Carter also had 22 points and pulled down 14 rebounds, while Richard Jefferson had 20 points and seven helpers for New Jersey.
"Everyone knows what's at stake," Nets head coach Lawrence Frank said. "We just have to keep our heads up and keep battling."
Mike Dunleavy had a game-high 33 points and seven assists for the Pacers, who have lost two straight and fell 2 1/2 games behind Atlanta for the final postseason spot. Danny Granger finished with 19 points before fouling out and Ike Diogu netted 16 points and had seven boards.
"We fought back in it and gave ourselves a chance," said Dunleavy. "It's tough losing like that."
Indiana entered the fourth quarter trailing by 10 and tried to climb back in the game. Diogu's conventional three-point play drew the Pacers to within five, 105-100, with 8:19 left.
The Nets answered, however, with three straight buckets to stem the tide. Harris hit a turnaround jumper and a driving layup before Jefferson deposited a lay-in of his own to give New Jersey a 111-100 lead with 7:19 remaining.
The Pacers had one last push in them and again made it a five-point game, 116-111, after a Dunleavy driving layup with 5:01 remaining.
But, the Nets responded with a Harris jumper and a Bostjan Nachbar three over the next two minutes to make it 121-111 and essentially secure the game.
The Nets used an explosive offense to race out to a 42-29 advantage after the opening 12 minutes.
Indiana regained its composure in the second stanza and managed to close the gap to eight, 68-60, by halftime.
New Jersey continued to play frontrunner through the third quarter and led 98-88 heading to the final frame.
Indiana starting forward Troy Murphy missed the game with strep throat... Carter's career best rebounding effort is 15... Boone made his first nine shots of the game...New Jersey, which is just 5-9 in March, is now 19-18 at the Izod Center.
03/26 23:06:13 ET