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Pacers, Nets both seek rebound efforts in Indianapolis
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Indiana Pacers' return home from a western road trip didn't go well, so they will try to get back on track Saturday night when they welcome the Brooklyn Nets to Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
The Pacers went 3-2 on a five-game swing west, but weren't able to atone for one of those losses when they fell at home to the Phoenix Suns, 102-94 Thursday.
It was only Indiana's second home loss of the season and the Pacers still own the league's best record at 35-10.
The Suns, playing their fourth game in five days, raced out to a 19-point lead in the first half and withstood Indiana's furious comeback. The loss ended a 10-game home winning streak for the Pacers.
"We didn't wake up 'til late and by that point it was too late," said All-Star Paul George. "We can't make no excuses. Every team goes through long stretches on the road. For us, we should have been happy to be back home. There's no excuse. We let one slip."
Roy Hibbert led the Pacers with 26 points, while George provided 12 points and 12 rebounds, but shot just 5-of-17 from the field. George missed all six of his 3-point attempts, and Indiana was an abysmal 1-of-15 from long range. The Pacers were also outscored on the fastbreak 21-0.
Lance Stephenson, snubbed as an All-Star reserve, recorded his fourth triple- double of the season with 14 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists in a losing effort.
The Nets dropped their first contest of 2014 to a team other than the Toronto Raptors on Friday night when they became the latest victim of Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Brooklyn was 10-2 since the calendar turned and both losses were to their main competition in the Atlantic Division.
That changed in a 120-95 drubbing at the hands of the league's hottest team.
Durant's streak of 30-plus points finally came to an end at 12 games, but the Thunder shot a sizzling 63.6 percent from the floor and outrebounded Brooklyn 41-17.
The Nets' 17 rebounds set an NBA record for fewest in a single game.
"We have to look at what we can do to get better for tomorrow," said Nets coach Jason Kidd.
Shaun Livingston had 16 points to pace Brooklyn, while Deron Williams netted 14 off the bench. Mason Plumlee, Jason Terry and Paul Pierce also scored in double figures.
Brooklyn forward Andrei Kirilenko missed the contest with a sore right calf.
The Pacers have taken all three matchups this season after losing all three in 2012-13. Indiana has taken 13 of the last 17 against the Nets and is 6-2 in its last eight as the host in this series.
02/01 09:50:27 ET