WHAT IT MEANS: To paraphrase New York Jets linebacker Bart Scott, the New Jersey Nets' defense couldn't stop a nosebleed on Super Bowl Sunday. The Nets allowed the Indiana Pacers to shoot 47 percent from the field and score 42 points in the paint in a 105-86 drubbing at the Prudential Center.
When the Pacers weren’t bombing from distance (nine 3-pointers), they were getting to the rim and finishing with authority. The Nets have lost to the Pacers six straight times. New Jersey (15-37) has also dropped five of its last six games. Indiana (21-27) is now 4-0 under interim coach Frank Vogel.
TURNING POINT: When Paul George decided he was going to jump out of the gym. The Nets were down by nine with 4:27 left in the second quarter, but George made it 13 with a left-handed flush and an emphatic two-handed alley-oop dunk. Mike Dunleavy eventually capped off the 7-0 mini-spurt with a 3-pointer, ballooning the Pacers’ cushion to 16 with 2:46 remaining.
STAR OF THE GAME: Hard to say from a Nets' perspective, but point guard Devin Harris is our guy. Harris scored eight-straight points during a third-quarter surge which allowed New Jersey to pull within single digits. Of course, that comeback was short-lived. Harris finished with 13 points and a game-high seven assists.
Harris, a Wisconsin native, will now transition from player to fan on Sunday night, rooting on his beloved Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl XLV. Harris was shown on the Jumbotron predicting the Packers to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 35-27, behind four touchdown passes by quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
FIRST-QUARTER WOES: And to think, head coach Avery Johnson harped on coming out and playing a strong opening stanza. So much for that. The Nets allowed the Pacers to torch them in the first quarter. Indiana shot 65 percent from the field and 5-for-8 from downtown as it opened up a 33-24 lead after the first 12 minutes.
STAT OF THE DAY: Johan Petro. Yes, Johan Petro, led the Nets with eight first-half points. Why? The game wasn’t even six minutes old and both Brook Lopez and Harris had been assessed two personal fouls apiece. Harris had no field goals in the first half.
OFFENSIVELY INEPT: That's been the Nets identity all season. And it continued on Sunday as the NBA's penultimate scoring offense mustered 86 points on 41.7 percent shooting from the floor.
BIRTHDAY BOY: Power forward Kris Humphries turned 26 years old on Sunday. And with girlfriend Kim Kardashian sitting first-row baseline, he turned in another yeoman's effort off the bench, scoring six points and adding nine rebounds in 22 minutes.
UP NEXT: The Nets will play host to all-world point guard Chris Paul and the New Orleans Hornets on Wednesday night.