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Lopez scores 23 to lead Nets past Pacers 120-110

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NEW YORK (AP) The Indiana Pacers' playoff hopes took a big hit with a loss to the lowly Brooklyn Nets.

Brook Lopez scored 23 points, Bojan Bogdanovic added 18, and the Nets beat the Pacers 120-110 on Saturday night.

Paul George missed a 3-pointer with 25 seconds remaining, sealing the win for Brooklyn. After the game, George was asked if the loss concerned him with the team fighting for a playoff spot.

''Yeah, it does, because we know, we understand every game counts,'' George replied. ''This is a game that we should win and we lost it.''

Indiana is tied with Detroit for the final two playoff spots, just two games ahead of Chicago.

Sergey Karasev added a career-high 17 points and seven rebounds for the Nets, who took a 104-102 lead on Bogdanovic's 3-pointer with 5:41 remaining in the game.

''Bojan hit a big 3 and Brook played a great fourth quarter,'' Karasev said. ''Everyone was touching the ball on the court. Everybody looked pretty good today and when we move the ball we looked pretty good, like a team.''

Lopez then scored nine consecutive points for Brooklyn before Bogdanovic nailed a contested 3-pointer to put Brooklyn ahead 116-110 with 39 seconds remaining.

''I think we just allowed (Lopez) to play 1-on-1 ball,'' George said. ''He saw one layup go in and he got real crafty down there. He's an All-Star, so he knows how to score 1-on-1.''

Brooklyn went on a 31-11 run to close out the game in the final 9:26 of the fourth quarter.

''We turned the ball over too much, we fouled like crazy and we didn't control Lopez either 1-on-1 or with double-teams,'' Pacers coach Frank Vogel said.

George finished with 27 points and Ian Mahinmi added 18 for the Pacers. George Hill, who added 17 for the Pacers, summarized the sense of urgency for Indiana after the loss.

''You've got to improve somewhere or we'll be watching the playoffs in April,'' Hill said.

With a playoff spot on the line, George vowed not to miss any remaining games despite a right lower leg contusion.


Pacers: Vogel praised the play of Lavoy Allen. ''He's got a great I.Q. and a great feel for the game offensively with passing, screening and rebounding,'' Vogel said. ''He has a great I.Q. on the defensive end with his versatility. He's got that defensive versatility to cross-matchup onto centers and have enough strength to body those guys, but also blitzing and staying with 3-point shooters.'' ... Rakeem Christmas and Shayne Whittington did not dress.

Nets: Coach Tony Brown wants Brook Lopez to continue being a playmaker out of the post. Lopez entered the game with consecutive games of five or more assists for the first time in his career. He finished with four against Indiana. ''I think the guys are starting to understand that if you get a lead on your guy with a cut, Brook will pass the ball to you,'' Brown said. ''I think it's a very effective way to combat a lot of the double-teaming.'' ... Bogdanovic has made multiple 3-pointers in eight straight games. He's the first Nets player to do so since Deron Williams in the 2012-13 season. ... Willie Reed and Jarrett Jack did not dress.


Pacers: Host Houston on Sunday.

Nets: Visit Miami on Monday.