The Pacers look for a fifth straight win Tuesday night at the Izod Center as they try to extend the Nets’ franchise-worst start to 0-11.
Indiana (4-3) lost its first three games before three straight double-digit victories over losing teams. The Pacers finally proved they could beat a contender with a 113-104 victory over Boston on Saturday.
“I was looking forward to this game because I love playing the really good teams,” Granger said. “I really love those games. This game, we got up for it and we were ready.”
Jones has been the key to the win streak, moving into the starting lineup for the start of it Nov. 4, and averaging 18.0 points over the four games. The New Jersey native’s career average is 5.3 points, and he’s never reached double figures in five games in his home state.
“(Coach) Jim O’Brien kept calling my number, told me to be aggressive,” Jones said. “We had something that worked one time, and we kept with it. That’s what you do, you keep milking plays that are working.”
The winless Nets could use a similar spark, but have been forced to use eight or fewer players in four of their last five games. All-Star point guard Devin Harris(notes), Yi Jianlian(notes), Jarvis Hayes(notes), Keyon Dooling(notes), Courtney Lee(notes) and Tony Battie(notes) are all out for New Jersey.
The Nets nearly overcame all those absences Saturday in Miami, where they fell 81-80 on Dwyane Wade’s(notes) 3-pointer with 0.1 seconds left. Brook Lopez(notes) tipped in Rafer Alston’s(notes) missed runner with 4.1 seconds remaining to give New Jersey the lead.
“I feel terrible for our guys,” Nets coach Lawrence Frank said. “We lay it all out there and to get beat like that, I’m just sick to my heart for them. It hurts. I feel so bad because the effort was extraordinary. We just fell short.”
Indiana ended a four-game road losing streak at New Jersey with a 98-87 win Nov. 12, 2008, in its lone visit last season. T.J. Ford(notes) scored 18 points to lead the Pacers as they took advantage of an injured Harris’ absence for the Nets.
Ford started the first six games for Indiana before back spasms he suffered in last Wednesday’s win over Golden State caused O’Brien to start Earl Watson(notes) on Saturday. Watson had 12 points and seven assists.