Yes, it was the New Jersey Nets, but we will take them however we can get them at this point.
The Pacers destroyed the Nets Friday night at Conseco Fieldhouse, 124-92. The 32-point winning margin was by far the largest of the season so far for Indiana. Mike Dunleavy led the way with 30 points, and Roy Hibbert put in 20 for the Blue and Gold.
Brook Lopez was the only New Jersey player who looked to have any flow, as he finished with 28 points. No other Nets player had more than 12. The interesting thing to note is, in his 29 minutes of action, Lopez only managed to pull down one rebound.
Danny Granger had an average game with 18 points, which was just fine with Dunleavy shooting the lights out. He was on fire tonight, shooting 12-of-16 from the floor, including 6-of-7 from beyond the three-point line. He was seeing more playing time tonight after Brandon Rush suffered a right ankle sprain Wednesday against Orlando. He will be out for a couple of weeks.
Another guy who will be getting more minutes because of the injury to Rush is rookie Paul George, who has been showing people that he can play in this league. Tonight he finished with 15 points on 6-of-7 shooting from the field. George has reached double figures in scoring in each of the last three games for Indiana.
In a good news/bad news statistic, the Pacers actually almost shot better from three-point range than they did at the free throw line. They were 12-of-22 from long range (55 percent) while just 12-of-21 from the stripe (57 percent).
On the night, the Pacers shot 63 percent from the floor, due in large part to Dunleavy and George.
It was good to see Hibbert having a good night, as he was going up against one of the best young centers in the game. Lopez is arguably the Nets' best player, and Roy went to work early and looked solid around the rim.
Every player who played for Indiana tonight scored, which includes TJ Ford, who saw the court for about 10 minutes. In addition to Brandon Rush missing the game, the Pacers were also without starting PF Tyler Hansbrough, who was out with pneumonia.
Luckily the Pacers didn't need them tonight, as the rout was on in the third quarter. Even though this team has blown a dozen games already after having a double-digit lead in the second half, they weren't about to let this one slip away. James Posey knocked down a free throw with 1:40 remaining in the third quarter, which gave Indiana their 100th point of the game.
The Pacers can finally get that monkey off of their back and gather a little bit of confidence as they head to Chicago to take on one of the best teams in the league tomorrow night. The Bulls are leading the division by 14 games, but they will not take this game lightly.
After tomorrow night's game in Chicago, the Pacers will have a day off before taking on the Toronto Raptors at home on Monday night.