While temperatures were dropping around the Garden State, the Indiana Pacers were heating up at the Prudential Center.
After struggling to find rhythm through their first four games and shooting a dismal 39 percent in a loss to the Pistons on Saturday night, the Pacers found their stroke Monday night in Newark.
The Pacers came into the game as the worst shooting team in the league...it didn't look that way last night.
Darren Collison started off the game connecting on an immediate three and then a fade away jumper as the shot clock expired. This proved to set the stage, as Indiana never gave the lead away.
New Jersey, led by star point guard Deron Williams who had 22 points on the night, was never able to go on an extended run.
The Pacers led by six at the half and by 13 going into the fourth quarter.
Where New Jersey was unable to go on an extended run, the Pacers were able to consistently put the ball in the basket.
Five players ended the night in double figures with Paul George leading the way with 21 points.
George looked like a sniper on the court, connecting on all five of his three-point attempts on a night that saw the Pacers shot 62 percent from behind the line.
Coming off of two lackluster performances, George was able to put together a huge game against the Nets.
While the Nets were able to keep the score close through two-and-a-half quarters, they were never able to threaten the lead.
They came into the game on a four-game skid, and to make matters worse, Kris Humphries was out with a shoulder injury. Considering how hot Indiana was, Humphries likely wouldn't have made much of a difference.
Notes from the Sideline
The Pacers seemed to have "it" from beginning to end.
Watching the teams warm up and go through their pregame rituals, I saw a Pacers team that was ready to shoot. They were making everything in warm-ups, and it continued into the game.
The Nets, on the other hand, just looked a bit off.
Over the course of this 66-game season, every team will have nights like this.
How the Nets bounce back from this loss and their current five-game skid will tell a lot about this teams resolve.
If the Pacers can prove they have legitimately "found their stroke" on a permanent basis, it can only mean good things.
Shooting percentage has been the elephant in the room thus far, and a breakout game like this could make this team a real threat this year.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!