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Tuesday, March 22nd (All times eastern)

Indiana Pacers (33-32) at New Jersey Nets (31-36), 7:30 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The playoff hopeful New Jersey Nets take aim at their season-high fifth consecutive victory this evening, when they begin a three- game homestand against the Indiana Pacers at Continental Airlines Arena.

Just three games separate 10th place New Jersey and Indiana, which is currently seventh in the East. The Nets are only 1 1/2 games behind Philadelphia for the eighth seed, while the Pacers are just one contest back of sixth place Chicago.

New Jersey has won eight of its last 12 games, including a 94-85 victory over these Pacers at Conseco Fieldhouse on Sunday. Vince Carter poured in a game- high 39 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to spur the Nets to the win.

Nenad Krstic added 18 off the bench and Jason Kidd posted a double-double with 14 points and 12 boards for the sudden surging Nets. New Jersey shot 44 percent in the contest, including 5-of-13 (.385) from beyond the arc.

The Nets outrebounded the Pacers, 42-34, while forcing 16 turnovers which led to 17 points. New Jersey also outscored Indiana, 25-16, at the free throw line.

New Jersey won four of six and six of its last nine home games to improve to 18-14 within its friendly confines this season.

Indiana has split its last four contests after Sunday's defeat to the Nets. Stephen Jackson paced Indiana with 21 points, while Anthony Johnson added 18. Fred Jones came off the bench to contribute 14 points for the Pacers, who had a brief two-game winning streak snapped. Reggie Miller ended with 13 in the setback.

Pacers center Scot Pollard (sprained right ankle) and point guard Jamaal Tinsley (bruised left foot) missed the contest. Both players are listed as doubtful for tonight's game.

Dale Davis registered 11 points and 10 rebounds for the Pacers in the defeat. Indiana didn't have much post offense in the game, as star forward Jermaine O'Neal remains sidelined with a shoulder injury.

Indiana, which has four of its next five games on the road, is 14-18 in foreign buildings. The Pacers have lost five of their last eight road contests.

The road team has won both meetings between these teams this season. Indiana has won five of the last seven meetings, including its last three trips to New Jersey. Nonetheless, Indiana has lost seven of 12 and 11 of its last 18 at New Jersey.

03/22 10:07:55 ET


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