brook lopez

Brooklyn figured out how to win without its most versatile offensive player Monday night.

Feed Brook Lopez early and often, keep Reggie Evans active on the glass and put the ball in Joe Johnson’s hands with the game on the line.

It may need to keep that formula a while longer.

Lopez scored 25 points, Evans grabbed 22 rebounds and Johnson tied the score with a 10-foot bank shot to force overtime before closing it out with four straight free throws to give the Nets an 89-84 victory—their first in six tries at Bankers Life Fieldhouse…

Brooklyn (30-22) needed every one of those plays to turn things around.

They came into Monday night with three losses in four games, including a 111-86 shellacking at home Sunday. They had lost five straight in Indianapolis, one of the best home teams in the league this season, and had been struggling badly to score, too. Plus, they were missing guard Deron Williams who was diagnosed with synovitis, an inflammation of the ankle joint linings. He received platelet rich plasma treatment on both ankles and isn’t expected to return to the floor until after the All-Star break.

But without Williams, the Nets stayed focused.

They had only 11 turnovers, forced the normally proficient Pacers to shoot just 34.4 percent, limited All-Star forward Paul George to five points on 1-of-10 shooting, and rallied late in regulation in a game that looked all but lost. Then, in overtime, the Nets refused to let this one slip away…

David West Indiana’s other big scorer, got poked in the eye by Lopez 60 seconds into the game. When he returned to start the second half, he didn’t look like himself. He was just 2 of 11 from the field with seven points and six rebounds and missed three straight midrange shots at the end of regulation, the last a 14-footer that bounced off the front of the rim as time expired…

George Hill led the Pacers with 22 points and six assists while Lance Stephenson and Jeff Pendergraph each had 14. It was a season-high for Pendergraph, whose previous best was six.

– Reported by Michael Marot of the Associated Press