for this game

Dunleavy's 34 helps Pacers down Nets

Feb 23, 2008 - 4:53 AM INDIANAPOLIS (Ticker) -- With no Jason Kidd to deal with on the perimeter, Mike Dunleavy and the Indiana Pacers lit up the scoreboard.

Dunleavy finished with 34 points as the Pacers used a big third quarter to cruise to a 113-103 victory over the New Jersey Nets on Friday.

Travis Diener added 19 points, eight rebounds and six assists and Jeff Foster chipped in 10 points and 14 rebounds for Indiana, which snapped a three-game slide and won for just the third time in the last 13 contests.

"We played well in the third quarter, especially the last six minutes," Diener said. "It's important that we carry this over to (Saturday) night (at New Jersey). They'll come out hungry. They're still ahead of us in the standings, so (Saturday) night is very important."

Dunleavy shot 11-of-20 from the floor, including 4-of-6 from the arc, and poured in seven points in the third quarter as the Pacers opened up the lead.

Trailing 52-50 after Marcus Williams drilled a 3-pointer on New Jersey's first possession of the third quarter, Indiana grabbed the lead back on Dunleavy's shot from the arc which sparked a 30-16 run over the next nine minutes of the third quarter.

"We dug in and had a segment where we played pretty good, but the last 3 1/2 minutes of the second quarter, and the entire third quarter, we totally lost our way defensively," Nets coach Lawrence Frank said.

"Inability to stop penetration, inability to fight through screens, inability to get protection at the rim. We were very poor defensively outside of a short stretch in the first half."

Diener and Danny Granger scored nine points apiece during the spurt, which gave the Pacers an 80-68 lead with 2:31 left in the third.

Indiana pushed the advantage to as much as 101-84 on Diener's 3-pointer with 6:39 left in the game and cruised to the easy win.

Troy Murphy had 11 points and seven rebounds for the Pacers, who shot 45 percent (39-of-87) from the floor, including 12-of-28 from the arc.

The Nets fell to 1-1 in the post-Jason Kidd era, which began on Wednesday when they played their first game without the All-Star point guard, who was traded to Dallas last weekend after demanding a trade last month.

"It's not easy (dealing with the trade)," Nets forward Bostjan Nachbar said. "We have quite a few new guys in there and it's tough, especially on the defensive end. It's normal any time there is a trade of that magnitude.

"You get four guys trying to learn a new system. We can compensate by having good energy like we did last game (at Chicago). We didn't do that tonight, and I think that's why we lost."

But Dunleavy admitted that the Nets still have a talented team.

"They still have offensive weapons in Vince Carter and Richard Jefferson," Dunleavy said. "They present some tough matchups when they spread the floor. Marcus Williams, in his first game after the Kidd trade, played really well, so we'll expect a big game from him (Saturday) night."

Williams, a second-year player who was promoted to the starting point guard spot after the deal, finished with five points and four assists in 25 minutes on Friday.

Trenton Hassell and DeSagana Diop, two of the players acquired in the Kidd deal, combined for 11 points and seven rebounds off the bench for New Jersey.

Jefferson scored 34 points on 12-of-21 shooting to lead New Jersey, which fell for just the second time in its last six games.

"We haven't had a smooth flow all season, so it's not like we're making a huge transition change," Jefferson said. "We're still missing a big part of the new guys in Devin Harris.

"Marcus Williams is starting and playing consistently, so he's going to have to learn to bring it every night. We play the same team (Saturday), so this is a great learning experience. We get to see how quickly these guys learn from their mistakes."