Holiday, Sabonis lead Pacers to easy win over Nets

NEW YORK (AP) — The Pacers relied on the Holiday brothers to overcome some injuries in their backcourt.

Aaron Holiday finished with career highs of 24 points and 13 assists, Justin Holiday scored 20 points and the Pacers cruised to a 115-86 victory over the Brooklyn Nets on Monday night.

“It’s a blessing he’s on the team with us and we’re two brothers in the NBA, let alone in the same team. It’s crazy,” Aaron Holiday said.

Indiana was playing without Malcolm Brogdon and Jeremy Lamb, but the backcourt tandem of the Holiday brothers was effective, especially after coach Nate McMillan was successful on a replay challenge late in the third quarter.

Aaron Holiday and Justin Holiday combined to hit three consecutive baskets to put the Pacers ahead 82-65 with 1:09 remaining in the period.

“They’re playing great. They’re playing with a lot of confidence,” Domantas Sabonis said. “Teams are doubling us, so we’re just kicking it out to open shooters and they’re knocking shots with confidence.”

Sabonis had 16 points and a career-high 18 rebounds, while T.J. Warren added 19 for the Pacers, who were coming off consecutive losses to Houston and Milwaukee.

Brooklyn was on a 7-0 run and within 75-62 with 3:10 left in the third quarter when Justin Holiday signaled to McMillan to challenge a call that the Pacers had lost the ball out of bounds.

The call was overturned and the Pacers soon after pushed their lead back to 18.

“There is a style that we want to play and we want to make sure that we are connected out there and playing together,” McMillan said. “We talked about our three Ts and being together and showing some real toughness and trusting each other, regardless of who’s in uniform. They’ve been able to do that and win some games.”

Spencer Dinwiddie had 28 points and Jarrett Allen finished with 10 points and 12 rebounds for the Nets, who played without Kyrie Irving for a second straight game and were held to their lowest point total of the season.

Irving injured his shoulder while the Nets went 2-3 on their road trip.

“Below-average teams are inconsistent and that’s what we are right now,” Nets coach Kenny Atkinson said.

The Nets didn’t get a boost from being home, scoring a season-low 18 points in the first quarter and then following it up with just 17 in the second period to trail 59-35 at halftime.

Indiana was sluggish early before tying it at 18-all. The Pacers then blitzed the Nets with a 11-0 run to start the second quarter, getting seven straight points from Warren while opening up a 29-18 advantage.

Indiana later outscored Brooklyn by 30-15 and led by as many as 28 points with 28 seconds remaining in the half when Naz Mitrou-Long sealed a 13-0 spurt with an uncontested layup.

Nets guard Joe Harris questioned the team’s effort in the second quarter.

“There’s a lot of it that’s out of our your control when you’re playing, but the things that are in your control are competing every possession, playing hard every possession, having that sense of energy,” Harris said. “The ownership, the pride, a lot of that stuff isn’t there for us right now.”

The Pacers improved to 2-0 this season against the Nets. Both of the wins have come at the Barclays Center.

TIP-INS

Pacers: Besides Brogdon (back) and Lamb (ankle), the Pacers were also without T.J. McConnell (groin). … Mitrou-Long had a career-high 12 points off the bench.

Nets: Garrett Temple started in place of Irving and finished with 10 points and six rebounds.

LETS JUST WAIT SOME MORE

Atkinson said Irving is not at the point yet where he can go out on the court and play due to his shoulder injury. The team chose to be cautious with Irving as it is already without the services of G Caris LeVert, who underwent right thumb surgery last Thursday.

“That’s the conclusion we came to for tonight’s game,” Atkinson said. “Best that he didn’t play.”

Irving leads the Nets with 28.5 points and 7.2 assists per game.

UP NEXT

Pacers: Will be off until Saturday when they open a four-game homestand against the Orlando Magic.

Nets: Continue their three-game homestand Wednesday when they host the Charlotte Hornets.

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