Indiana at New Jersey

Venue: Prudential Center


STATS Writer

Indiana and New Jersey have struggled with their shooting so far during the condensed 2011-12 season.

That could change very quickly for the Pacers.

Indiana goes for its eighth straight win and 11th in 12 games against the Nets on Monday night at the Prudential Center in a matchup of the NBA's two poorest-shooting clubs.

The Pacers (3-1) are last in the league in shooting at 38.5 percent and have failed to crack the 40-percent mark in any of their contests. Just above Indiana are the Nets (1-4), currently in 29th place at 38.7 percent and losers of four straight overall.

A main reason for New Jersey's struggles is the loss of center Brook Lopez to a stress fracture in his foot. Lopez led the team last season with an average of 20.4 points while shooting almost 50 percent.

However, the Pacers have had little difficulty putting the ball in the basket when facing the Nets in recent years. Over the last 11 meetings, the Pacers have shot 48.8 percent while going 10-1. That included a 62.5-percent effort in a 124-92 rout of the Nets on Jan. 28.

The Pacers also won both meetings in New Jersey to sweep last season's series and have won five straight there. Indiana has shot 47.0 percent during its winning streak in the Garden State.

Indiana opened a four-game road trip with a 96-88 loss to Detroit on Saturday. Starting forwards Danny Granger and David West combined to go 8 for 26 from the field as the Pacers shot a season high-tying 39.5 percent.

The Pacers seemed to be drained while playing their third game in four nights. They also had to bounce back quickly after an overtime win at home over Cleveland on Friday.

"You can make excuses about playing three games in four nights or whatever, but we just didn't show up. Right from the start, we were sluggish and slow," said Tyler Hansbrough, who along with fellow reserve George Hill, led Indiana with 16 points.

Roy Hibbert had just nine points, but was the Pacers' best player against New Jersey in 2010-11, averaging 18.3 points while shooting 61.1 percent from the floor. The fourth-year center is averaging 13.5 points this season on a team-high 57.5 percent shooting.

New Jersey's losing streak grew with Sunday's 98-82 defeat at Cleveland. After a season-opening win over Washington, each of the Nets' four losses have come by an average of nearly 19 points per game.

Deron Williams finished with 16 points on 6-of-16 shooting and five assists, but also committed six turnovers for the third time. Williams is shooting 35.4 percent so far - his lowest mark since his rookie year in 2005-06, when he shot 42.1 percent for Utah.

"It's another loss," Williams said. "It's definitely frustrating. I'm not helping the team at all. Hopefully, I can turn it around and we can get some wins."

Acquired by New Jersey in a blockbuster deal with Utah in February, Williams has yet to face the Pacers in a Nets uniform. He did not play in New Jersey's 102-98 loss to Indiana on March 21 due to a wrist injury.

Williams has double-doubles in four of his last five games against Indiana, and is averaging 14.9 points and 8.8 assists in 11 career games versus the Pacers.

Copyright 2016 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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Game Odds
Indiana -4.5 New Jersey 4.5
TeamStandingsWLPct.GBL 10Strk
Indiana2nd Central 4537.549127-3Won 3
New Jersey5th Atlantic 2244.33316.53-7Lost 6

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