Time Runs Out On Brooklyn: Pacers 97, Nets 96 (GAME GRADES)


Jason Terry POINT GUARD

Some brutal minutes — a low pass salvaged by Kevin Garnett made for a pretty alley-oop, but he’s a score-first guard who no longer scores.

Mason Plumlee CENTER

Got Andray Blatche’s rotation minutes early, and though the Pacers did attack him, he did put down a dunk by sneaking on the baseline and a sweet block on a George Hill dunk. He also picked up five fouls in approximately nine seconds. But give him credit for fearlessness.

Paul Pierce POWER FORWARD

Rebounding issues, matchup issues with him at the 4, and his terrible, no good, very bad three-point attempt that all but ended the game aside: did you notice he had five steals?

Shaun Livingston POINT GUARD

I think we’ve officially hit the point where Shaun Livingston deserves better than being defined by his gruesome leg injury. He’s not that player anymore. He’s not seeking redemption, he’s just a damn good basketball player playing damn good basketball. He deserves recognition as an outstanding two-way point guard, not a reclamation project.

Sublime game, hitting his near-unblockable jumper in the paint on multiple occasions to a game-high 12 first-half points. Took over the Nets offense for a stretch in the third quarter with their backs against the wall while defending Paul George on the other side. Livingston has become an indispensable part of Brooklyn’s lineup, and it’s games like this that remind us of that.

Kevin Garnett POWER FORWARD

Some emphatic moments in the first half — swatted a Danny Granger attempt at the rim, and threw down a big alley-oop off a Terry feed later. But also hit his jumpers and took Roy Hibbert out of the lane on a few possessions. Definitely didn’t look like his younger self all night, but had some key plays late, notably a tip-in offensive rebound to cut the Pacers lead to 3.

Alan Anderson SHOOTING GUARD

Bumped to the bench in favor of Deron Williams, and played like a decent bench player, defending and running the floor.

Deron Williams POINT GUARD

Returned to the starting lineup for the first time since his treatment, and struggled to find his jumper throughout. Had a few loose balls fall into his hands, which isn’t really a credit to him. Didn’t make an impact until hitting a layup with 30 seconds left, which was too little too late.

Joe Johnson SHOOTING GUARD

With Pacers fans — and Lance Stephenson — livid at his mere presence, the Nets ran through Johnson in the low post early, either attacking Paul George or creating mismatches with George Hill. He created some good early looks out of it, but was quiet afterwards until hitting a ridiculous fall-away three-pointer with 8.5 seconds left to cut a 94-90 lead to one.

Reggie Evans POWER FORWARD

Don’t ever shoot into Roy Hibbert’s arms.