Nets 123, Pacers 111: Bojan Bogdanovic shuts it down
Against an Indiana team that the Nets will have to overtake if they still hope to make the playoffs, Brooklyn dropped at least 120 points on an opponent for the third time in the last four games to tighten the race for the 8th seed.
Brooklyn as a team shot 61.3 percent from the field, which is the highest shooting percentage against the Pacers in franchise history. The efficient scoring was aided by a perfect 8 of 8 shooting performance from Bojan Bogdanovic, who hit four key shots in the fourth quarter to save the Brooklyn offense that was stagnating while Indiana tried to take it late.
After 17 first half points from Deron Williams, the Nets slumped to start the second half as Williams struggled to continue the production, opening the door for Indiana to retake the lead in the third quarter. Brooklyn’s starting point guard was scoreless in the second half, which led to Lionel Hollins sticking with Jarrett Jack to close out the game.
Following his 32 point, 18 rebound and five block performance against the Bucks last night, Brook Lopez led the Nets in scoring with 26 points while adding four blocks. Bogdanovic finished with 21 points behind Lopez, but a number of crucial plays were ran for the rookie swingman instead of Lopez in a fourth quarter that could have easily gone Indiana’s way.
The full shot chart from Bogdanovic on Saturday night
Bogdanovic avoided the midrange jumpers all night instead of letting Roy Hibbert’s defense affect his shot selection. Outside of three jumpers made from beyond the arc, he did most of his work in and around the paint, coming off screens and fearlessly attacking one of the best interior defenses in the NBA. On to the fourth quarter.
Shot 1 - The Shuttlesworth
After the Nets lost the third quarter 31-25, Bogdanovic came out firing to start the fourth as the team ran him of a double screen and Jack was able to find him as he faded to the corner. Props to Mason Plumlee, who hit CJ Miles with a screen that reminds me of the usual Kevin Garnett bump. It’s nice to see his time at Brooklyn live on through illegal screens that set up open 3-pointers. That’s what KG would have wanted us to remember him by, right?
Shot 2 - The Confidence Builder
Although scored over the outstretched arm of a defender, that defender’s name is Damjon Rudez, a fellow Croatian that isn’t known for his ability to run off screens and contest jumpshots. Hollins recognized the mismatch and ran another play for Bogdanovic that had him looking like a veteran shooter. If he wasn’t 5 of 5 from the field at this point, he might have looked for a better shot, but it was his time to shine with the slower defender on him.
Shot 3 - Hibbert Who?
Maybe nobody told Bogdanovic that Hibbert has been holding opponents to one of the lowest field goal percentage in the NBA when it comes to paint production. Or perhaps someone did tell him and Bogdanovic decided to test that statistic. After blowing by Luis Scola on the perimeter, the Croatian drives right at Hibbert and finds a way to finish over the 7-foot-2 center.
Shot 4 - The Dagger
As seen by the celebration of Alan Anderson (who played a team-high 34 minutes in the victory), this would be the shot that gave Brooklyn the breathing room to pull off the win. Another busted play led to a hopeful drive from Anderson who finds Bogdanovic in the corner. At this point, Bogdanovic should have probably tried to blindfold himself or something, just to make it fair for Indiana.
Bogdanovic and the rest of the Nets return home to face the Boston Celtics, another game with playoff implications, on March 23.