Before the Packers and Steelers kick off in Super Bowl XLV, there was a basketball game at “The Rock” in Newark.
You would think, in a game where Indiana Pacers’ star Danny Granger shoots 4-of-13 from the field for 11 points, the opponent would be the victor.
That’s not the case when you play the New Jersey Nets.
The Pacers defeated the Nets 105-86 on Super Sunday. Pacers’ interim head coach Frank Vogel moves to 4-0 since taking over for Jim O’Brien last week.
The game started similar to the Pacers win over the Nets nine days ago in Indiana. The Pacers led 56-43 at the break, as the Nets continue their recent trend of getting off to slow starts.
When Johan Petro leads your team in scoring after the first half, something is wrong. Petro led the Nets with eight points.
No knock on Petro, who has been giving the Nets good minutes off the bench all season, but he should not be the team’s leading scorer in any half.
Devin Harris and Brook Lopez combined for as many points as Petro scored on an unimpressive 3-of-10 shooting in the first half.
Duke product Mike Dunleavy and rookie Paul George each had 11 points in the first half for the Pacers.
The Nets showed some signs of life midway through the third quarter as the “Devin Harris Show” took over.
Two straight steals and four straight points from Harris as part of an 8-0 New Jersey run cut the Pacer lead to a more manageable nine points with plenty of time remaining.
But Indiana pulled away and led by as many as 21 late to cruise to the easy victory.
Dahntay Jones led all scorers with a season-high 18 points off the bench for Indiana. Dunleavy finished with 17 points.
The Pacers now hold a one-game lead over the Charlotte Bobcats for eighth place in the Eastern Conference.
The Nets will host the surging New Orleans Hornets Wednesday at the Prudential Center. All-Star point guard Chris Paul brings his 16.7 ppg and 9.7 apg against a Nets team that has now lost five of their last six games.