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Pacers struggle in loss at home

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For much of the night, Jeff Pendergraph was the best player on the floor for the Indiana Pacers.

Paul George was the worst.

Roy Hibbert and David West weren’t much better.

That should tell you something about the Pacers’ struggles Monday night against the visiting Brooklyn Nets.

Never finding offensive traction and getting precious little from their top two scorers, the Pacers lost 89-84 in overtime against the Nets, who were without three-time All-Star point guard Deron Williams.

Williams sat out with inflammation in both ankles. But it didn’t matter. George and West, the Pacers’ season scoring leaders, combined for 12 points on 3-of-22 shooting from the field.

As a consequence, the Pacers (31-21) lost their second straight overtime game in Bankers Life Fieldhouse. The slide comes after they had won 15 straight at home.

George, the Pacers’ lone All-Star, made 1 of 10 shots for five points. He fouled out with 1:03 left in regulation.

West, who sat out nearly all of the first half after being struck in the eye by Brooklyn’s Brook Lopez, finished 2 of 11 from the field for seven points.

Hibbert scored 12 points but was a dismal 5 of 18 from the floor.

Indiana’s few offensive bright spots were starting point guard George Hill and Pendergraph, a seldom-used backup forward who got the opportunity because of West’s first-half injury (scratched left eye).

Hill scored a team-high 22 points, including 10 in the fourth quarter to rally the Pacers from a 58-54 deficit at the start of the period.

Pendergraph, appearing in only his 17th game, came off the bench and tallied season-highs of 14 points and a team-best-tying 10 rebounds.

As a team, Indiana shot 34 percent from the field, making only 33 of 96 shots.

Brooklyn made fewer shots (31 of 80) from the floor but was 23 of 32 from the free-throw line. The Pacers were 13 of 18 from the line.

Lopez led the Nets (30-22) with a game-high 25 points. Joe Johnson, who made four free throws in the final 21 seconds of overtime, scored 17. Tyshawn Taylor, who scored the Nets’ first four points in overtime to give them a lead they would never relinquish, had 12.

The game was the second of a five-game home stand for the Pacers. They host Charlotte on Wednesday and have a seven-day break before hosting the New York Knicks on Feb. 20.

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