Harden Breaks Through as Nets Wear Down Pacers


Final: 10/29/2021

W 105 98

It took the Nets going down by 16 points, but the offense finally woke up.

James Harden had his best game of the season, scoring a team-high 29 points en route to the Nets’ 105-98 win over the Pacers. Kevin Durant added 22 points and 11 rebounds.

Brooklyn started — and ended — the game in similar lackluster fashions. The Pacers capitalized on turnovers — to the tune of 23 points off the Nets’ 18 giveaways — to jump out to an early advantage and later erase a 14-point deficit to tie the Nets in the fourth quarter.

The Nets were able to use their physicality to gain the edge back and close out with confidence. 

It was improvement for a Nets team that was thoroughly out-rebounded against the Heat on Wednesday night. Brooklyn, for a large portion, held a rebounding advantage over the Pacers while out-scoring Indiana 59-36 over the second and third quarters.

Free throws were the story of the night for the Nets as they got to the line 41 times, making 31 of them. Harden had 19 of those attempts, a clear development after attempting just 15 free throws total in his first five games.

The secret weapon of the night was LaMarcus Aldridge, who notched his 20,000th career point during his 21-point night. Alridge gave the Nets a big boost with his midrange touch and offensive rebounding to act as Brooklyn’s third threat.

The Nets took another step forward, though past struggles allowed the Pacers to hang around. Turnovers were still an issue, and Indiana recorded a 52-36 edge in the paint, but the Nets countered at the line and by holding the Pacers to 39.8% shooting. 

Torrey Craig had the hot hand for the Pacers as he recorded 28 points and 11 rebounds on the night to lead four players in double figures.

It wasn’t a pretty game, but Brooklyn got the job done. Harden made strides in looking like his regular self and getting to the line, which is key to the Nets going forward if he can sustain it.

Next up: A Halloween matchup against the Pistons. 

James Harden


The stats: 29 PTS, 5-11 FG, 3-6 3PT, 16-19 FT, 8 REB, 8 AST, 1 STL, 2 BLK, 4 TO, 35 MIN

James Harden seemed to make a big step forward to finding his groove.

Something seemed to click for James on Friday as he got to the free-throw line at will. It was a change of pace from his earlier games, where his struggles to get to the charity stripe were becoming a trend. 

James put up an all-around performance, though still struggled a bit with turning the ball over. Still, the Nets need this version of Harden on offense, and they were happy to have him back.

Kevin Durant


The stats: 22 PTS, 7-10 FG, 1-3 3PT, 7-8 FT, 11 REB, 7 AST, 1 STL, 7 TO, 37 MIN

First, we have to acknowledge this move by KD that was just filthy.

Turnovers aside, KD had another KD-level performance. He led the way on the boards and gave the Nets a reliable go-to threat to complement Harden.

LaMarcus Aldridge


The stats: 21 PTS, 10-16 FG, 0-1 3PT, 1-3 FT, 8 REB, 1 STL, 1 BLK, 1 TO, 28 MIN

20,000 career points!

LaMarcus had it going from midrange to reach the incredible career mark. He pushed the pace on the fastbreak, creating some of those opportunities with his boards and defense while also giving the Nets second chances on offense.

The Nets don’t have a clear-cut third threat behind KD and Harden, but Aldridge is working himself right into the mix.

Joe Harris


The stats: 9 PTS, 3-9 FG, 1-6 3PT, 2-2 FT, 2 REB, 1 AST, 3 TO, 31 MIN

Still not a stellar game from Joe, but he remained active and helped put the Nets ahead down the stretch. He’ll have a breakout game soon enough, right?

Paul Millsap


The stats: 8 PTS, 2-4 FG, 0-1 3PT, 4-7 FT, 4 REB, 13 MIN

His minutes were limited, but Paul Millsap made a quick impact. His hustle and chemistry led Millsap to a plus-13 advantage in as many minutes. A small sample size, but Millsap can be a productive option for Brooklyn at the right spots going forward.