Sunday , Apr , 15 , 2007 C.Y. Ellis

Nets hold off Pacers; Indiana’s playoff hopes evaporate

Indianapolis, IN (Sports Network) – Vince Carter scored 35 points and Bostjan
Nachbar had 25 off the bench as New Jersey downed Indiana, 111-107, at Conseco
Fieldhouse.

Richard Jefferson posted 18 points and Jason Kidd poured in 12 with 10 assists
for the Nets, who have won four of their last five games. New Jersey remains
one game ahead of Orlando for the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference. The
Magic won at home over Boston, 88-86, Sunday night, clinching the final
playoff berth in the Eastern Conference, thus eliminating the Pacers from
postseason contention.

“I don’t know, I really don’t care,” Carter said, “I’ve never cared about
where we’re at. I’m only concerned about us continuing to play well and
winning games because it’s important to be playing well going into the
playoffs.”

Jermaine O’Neal netted 20 points, while Danny Granger and Troy Murphy each had
17 for the Pacers, who have dropped three of their last four games. Mike
Dunleavy chipped in 15 points, Darrell Armstrong 13 and Shawne Williams 12 in
defeat.

“We want to go out winning these last two games if we are eliminated,” Granger
said. “It’s a disappointing feeling. It’s one of those things that you have to
put it behind you and move on to next season.”

The game was deadlocked at 80 heading into the fourth quarter and remained
tight throughout. After Granger hit a jumper to cut within 97-96, New Jersey
ripped off eight straight points — capped by Nachbar’s three-point play —
for a 105-96 lead with just under three minutes to play.

A pair of O’Neal free throws later brought the Pacers within three, but
Jefferson landed a free throw and Kidd deposited a jumper to make it a 110-104
contest with 11 seconds left.

Jamaal Tinsley responded with a triple with just over three seconds remaining,
while Carter was fouled on the ensuing possession and hit one from the line to
ice the game.

The Nets finished 51 percent shooting from the field, while Indiana shot 46
percent from the floor.

With the game tied at 11 halfway through the first quarter, New Jersey went on
an 11-2 run — capped by Carter’s jumper — for a nine-point lead. Josh Boone
then hit a hook shot to give the Nets a 28-22 edge after one.

Indiana took the lead in the second on a Granger bank shot, but three
consecutive three-pointers by Nachbar put New Jersey up by four moments later.

Kidd hit a trey to make it a 49-43 game at the 4:07 mark before the Pacers
went on a 13-5 spurt — ended with Troy Murphy’s triple — to take a 56-54
lead into the break.

The contest was nip-and-tuck in the third and Murphy’s turnaround jumper
knotted things at 80 for Indiana entering the fourth.

Game Notes

Tinsley had 10 points, seven assists and six boards for Indiana…New Jersey
improved to 4-0 against the Pacers this season and have won five of the last
six in the series.

IND NJN