Hibbert, Collison lead Pacers over NetsMar 22, 2011 - 4:27 AM Newark, NJ (Sports Network) - Roy Hibbert finished with 24 points and Darren Collison made key free throws in the closing minutes to help Indiana secure a 102-98 victory over New Jersey.
Collison ended with 15 points, 12 assists and six rebounds, and sank all nine of his free throws in the Pacers' fourth win in six games.
Danny Granger added 20 points for Indiana, which has won seven in a row against New Jersey.
Brook Lopez netted 20 points to lead the Nets, who have dropped four in a row. Sundiata Gaines scored 18 points off the bench in the loss.
Indiana trailed during the first half, but used a strong third quarter to take control. It made 11-of-18 shots, held the Nets to 24 percent shooting, and not only grabbed the lead, but pushed it to double digits.
The Pacers opened the frame with a 9-0 burst, fueled by two Hibbert buckets. Another nine-point run late in the quarter had Indiana up by 11, and it carried a 69-61 advantage into the fourth.
"We just challenged our guys to raise their intensity on the defensive end, and that would generate easy offense for us in the third, and it did," said Pacers head coach Frank Vogel.
Indiana led the rest of the way, but the Nets made it close with a series of three-pointers. Sasha Vujacic made two about half a minute apart, and the second pulled the Nets within 98-94 with 63 seconds to play.
After Collison missed a layup at the other end, Gaines got to the line and made 1-of-2. He was shaken up while going for a rebound shortly before the foul, and needed the attention of trainers before staying in.
Both teams had opportunities to score over the next several possessions, but couldn't cash in. Gaines and Vujacic both missed a three before Collison grabbed a defensive rebound with 9.9 seconds left.
The Pacers guard made two free throws for a 100-95 edge, and after Gaines drilled a three, Collison drained two more from the line to seal the victory.
"Every game, we're competing," Gaines said. "I think that's the first step. Hopefully we'll be able to close out games better than we have lately."
New Jersey held a 19-15 edge after the first quarter, then opened the second with a Brandan Wright jumper, a Vujacic three-pointer and a basket from Gaines.
The Nets led by as many as 12 in the period, including when a Lopez jumper put them up 40-28 with 3:03 left. But the Pacers scored the next six to stay close, and were within 44-40 at the break.
Collison scored nine of his points in the fourth quarter, while Granger had 10 in the period...New Jersey turned the ball over just 11 times, but shot 40 percent and attempted only 18 free throws (making 12)...The Pacers shot 49 percent and sank 27-of-30 foul shots, but had 19 turnovers.
- INDIANA: 102
NEW JERSEY: 98
Mar 21 9:36 PM
- INDIANA: 69
NEW JERSEY: 61
End of 3rd
Mar 21 8:48 PM
- INDIANA: 40
NEW JERSEY: 44
Mar 21 8:07 PM
- INDIANA: 15
NEW JERSEY: 19
End of 1st
Mar 21 7:34 PM
- INDIANA: 0
NEW JERSEY: 0
1st Quarter - 12:00
Mar 21 7:11 PM
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