The Brooklyn Nets visited the Indiana Pacers at Gainbridge Fieldhouse on Friday and lost 128-117. The Pacers had four players score at least 20 points against the Nets’ porous defense.
Kevin Durant scored 36 points, including 20 in the fourth quarter, and collected 9 rebounds while Ben Simmons scored 20 points and had six rebounds before fouling out in the fourth quarter. Kyrie Irving scored 20 points while struggling with his three-point shot.
Indiana’s Buddy Hield had 26 points, including five threes, to lead the Pacers in scoring while Myles Turner had 23 points while grabbing eight rebounds. Tyrese Haliburton had 21 points and 15 assists while Bennedict Mathurin had 20 points off the bench.
Indiana pulled away in the fourth quarter thanks to Mathurin scoring 16 points in the period while Brooklyn struggled to score down the stretch. The Nets had 19 turnovers to led to 21 points for Indiana and Brooklyn struggled to defend without fouling as they allowed Indiana to shoot 38 free-throws.
Here are the Nets player grades as the teams falls to 9-11:
Kevin Durant: C
Durant found it easy to get his own shot when he was matched up against anyone on the Pacers aside from Myles Turner. Durant did his best to keep his team in the game, but unfortunately, Durant did not make as much of an impact defensively as he has done throughout this season. He also struggled with turnovers in the second half which led to the Pacers getting easy scores in transition.
Kyrie Irving: C-
In the early portions of this game, Irving did a great job playing off the ball and finding creases in the defense when they presented themselves. Irving made more of an effort to get to the rim as he struggled with this three-point shot in this game. As usual, Irving struggled to defend the likes of Tyrese Haliburton and Buddy Hield and seemed to be late on several rotations as the help man.
Ben Simmons: C
Simmons did a wonderful job of being aggressive in the early portions of the game and pushing the pace when the opportunity presented itself. Whenever Simmons saw Jalen Smith or Bennedict Mathurin guarding him, he gave a concerted effort to get to the basket to put pressure on the defense. However, Simmons was primarily guarding Myles Turner and he allowed Turner to have a wonderful game without much resistance.
Royce O'Neale: C-
O’Neale had a decent game for what he has been asked to do, but he struggled to hit shots after the early going which bogged down the offense a bit. He also had trouble staying in front of Haliburton and Mathurin as both players had great nights.
Hitting outside shots and looking for the open man
Nic Claxton: C+
Claxton did a good job protecting the rim in this game and staying patient while waiting for the pass to come to him so that he could finish at the rim. Claxton had some trouble defending Myles Turner and Claxton had a couple of moments of losing his composure. He even had an instance where his flagrant foul resulted in a turnover and free throws and the ball for the Pacers which stopped any momentum that was building.
Seth Curry: C+
Curry did a good job providing scoring off the bench by using his handle to make shots off the dribble and find open teammates. Curry had his share of struggles on the defensive end which wasn’t surprising, but he did his best to make an impact scoring the ball.
Markieff Morris: D+
Morris made an considerable impact in the first half by stretching the Pacers’ defense and providing some size to deter players from the rim. Unfortunately, Morris had some trouble with Indiana’s length and athleticism so his impact waned as the game went on.
Joe Harris: D
Harris did much of nothing in this game as he once again struggled to hit any of his shots. Harris gave his best effort on the defensive side of the floor, but he struggled to defend any of the perimeter players for the Pacers.