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Nets routed by Pacers without Harris

Nov 9, 2008 - 3:51 AM INDIANAPOLIS (Ticker) -- The New Jersey Nets survived one half without point guard Devin Harris. The Indiana Pacers wouldn't let them get through two.

Danny Granger scored 23 points as the Pacers blitzed the shorthanded Nets in the second half en route to a 98-80 victory on Saturday.

Troy Murphy scored 17 points and Jeff Foster added 12 and 13 rebounds for Indiana, which outscored New Jersey, 49-29, in the final two periods.

The Nets struggled in the absence of Harris, who sprained his left ankle in Friday's 103-96 victory over the then-undefeated Detroit Pistons. Harris scored a career-high 38 points in that game, spoiling Allen Iverson's debut with the Pistons in the process.

Harris being out "changes a lot," according to Pacers guard T.J. Ford, who nearly had a triple-double with 13 points, nine assists and nine rebounds.

"Just understanding he had a big night last night and they beat the Pistons, so their confidence was probably taken away a little bit knowing that he wasn't going to play," he said.

"It puts a lot more responsibility on me, but that's no excuse," Nets guard Vince Carter said of playing without Harris. "This is a team game, and it's going to take a collective effort to win games."

New Jersey struggled to fill that void - after intermission, at least.

The Nets held a two-point lead at the break but were outscored by the Pacers, 25-15, in the third quarter and never recovered. New Jersey shot 8-of-33 from the field after halftime.

"It was outstanding, it was a good effort from us," Granger said of the Pacers' defense in the second half. "Vince had 31, but we forced him into some tough shots, made it hard for everyone else on their team."

Carter scored 20 points in the first half for New Jersey, which could not withstand a 12-0 run by Indiana to open the second half. Granger scored seven points in the spurt, capping the burst with two free throws to make it 61-51 with 8:00 left in the third.

"The way we play, one of us get going and run off six, seven points in a row pretty much puts the game out of reach for the other team," Granger said.

Brook Lopez immediately followed with four straight points for the Nets, including a nimble three-point play in transition in which the 7-footer banked in a nifty layup on the move. Lopez's free throw cut his team's deficit to six with 7:01 remaining - the closest New Jersey would get.

"I've got a lot of respect for Indiana," Nets coach Lawrence Frank said. "(Pacers president) Larry Bird and (coach) Jim O'Brien really know what they're doing."

Marquis Daniels had 14 points to put all five starters in double figures for Indiana, which played without Rasho Nesterovic and Mike Dunleavy. Apparently, the duo was not missed as much as Harris.

In their stead, the Pacers continued to play the open-court style championed by O'Brien, who encourages his players to bomb away from 3-point range. Indiana shot 33 percent (11-of-33) from the arc.

"We were very happy with our performance," O'Brien said. "It was a good test to play the second half with that type of intensity."

Keyon Dooling, who started in place of Harris, scored 17 points for the Nets, who dished out just 10 assists and were outrebounded by the Pacers, 51-37.

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