INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Out-rebounded by 19, the Pacers were also out-worked and out-hustled by the visiting Brooklyn Nets Sunday night in a 108-96 loss at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
“They wanted it more than us,” explained center Myles Turner. “They’re playing for something, and they went out there and showed it. They played hard. They played aggressive. Hats off to them.”
“We didn’t impose our will on the game to start,” continued forward Thad Young. “They came out, they were backdoor cutting us, just playing as a team.”
Young called the result frustrating for this night in particular, when the team celebrated Fan Appreciation Night after going 29-13 at The Fieldhouse this regular season.
“(The fans) have been amazing all season long,” said Young. “They’ve been ecstatic. It’s been magical. They put us in awe sometimes, how loud they cheer.”
“It’s been everything to us,” added Turner, on the atmosphere at home throughout the season. “We’ve had those tough times struggling on the road. we could always rely on our home crowd to get us going. All the home stretches, they were big for us this year, and I already know they’re gonna continue to be big for us in the playoffs cause we’re gonna need them.”
Sunday’s loss locked the Pacers into the five-seed in the Eastern Conference, so the Blue and Gold will go on the road for their first playoff game.
“We gotta go in there and take care of business. We need to go and take at least one game on the road.”
“We have to be ready at all costs. We have one more game. We have to start by taking care of business there and then carry over into the playoffs.”
That final game comes Wednesday night in Atlanta against the Hawks. What follows will be a road trip to either Boston or Philadelphia for the NBA postseason.