EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Danny Granger scored 22 of his 28 points in a 72-point first-half blitz and the Indiana Pacers posted their third straight win with a 121-105 victory over the woeful New Jersey Nets on Friday night.
Troy Murphy added 21 points and 14 rebounds, Brandon Rush had 15 points and Mike Dunleavy had 14 for the Pacers, who took a different approach after rallying from 20-plus point deficits in winning their last two games. Roy Hibbert also had 12 points.
Indiana, which hit 13 3-pointers in the game, built a 20-point halftime lead and cruised the rest of the way. The only entertainment the crowd had in the second half was making ushers at the Izod Center chase down a beach ball fans were tossing through the stands.
Devin Harris had 22 points and nine assists for the Nets, who lost their seventh straight and 36th in 39 games this season. Brook Lopez added 27 points, while Yi Jianlian had 17 points and 10 rebounds. Recently acquired Kris Humphries added 15 points.
New Jersey hung tough for the opening 18 minutes, pulling to within 48-47 on two free throws by Lopez with 5:55 to play in the half.
The final six minutes belonged to the Pacers, who scored 15 straight points in a 24-5 spurt that Earl Watson ignited with four points.
Murphy drove the lane for a dunk, Rush followed with a 3-pointer and two free throws and then Granger, coming off a 33-point effort in a win over Phoenix, finished up with 9 of his 13 second-quarter points.
New Jersey was just 2-of-11 from the field with three turnovers in the drought that turned a close game into yet another big loss.
The Pacers played the second half without starting guard Luther Head, who sprained his left ankle in the first half.
David Goldman, who recently won a five-year international custody battle to regain custody of his son, attended the game with 9-year-old Sean. … A few fans protesting the Nets' planned move to Brooklyn, N.Y. for the 2012 season held up two banners in the first quarter. Ushers quickly took the banners away. … Pacers PG T.J. Ford was inactive for the third time this season because of a coach's decision. He has not played in seven straight games. … Indiana is 6-4 vs. the Atlantic Division, the only division it has a winning record against. Three of the wins have been against the Nets. … New Jersey got to the foul line 39 times, making 32 attempts.
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