Playing without star center Brook Lopez and key frontcourt reserves Andrei Kirilenko and Andray Blatche, the Nets simply didn't have enough and dropped to 0-3 against Indiana. They shot 46.8 percent from the field but were outrebounded 41-28.
The Pacers, who came in outscoring opponents by an average of 5.9 points in the third quarter, stayed true to form and outscored the Nets 28-20 in the third to seize a firm grip on what had been a high-scoring game. That gave Indiana an 86-76 lead entering the fourth quarter.
The Nets scored on their first five possessions of the second quarter, causing Indiana coach Frank Vogel to call timeout with 8:55 remaining as Brooklyn took a 38-35 lead. Things got worse out of the stoppage when Pierce stole a pass and dribbled for an open-court dunk that gave the Nets a 43-37 advantage.
NOTES: Saturday's game began a nine-game stretch in which the Nets will face seven teams with winning records. ... Brooklyn announced that C Brook Lopez will have surgery on Jan. 4 to repair the fractured fifth metatarsal of his right foot. The team did not reveal a timetable for his recovery. ... The sellout crowd was the ninth at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Last season, the Pacers had just 10 home sellouts in the regular season. ... Pacers F/G Paul George's 3-pointer with 2:56 left in the first half tied him with Austin Croshere (376 3s made) for seventh place on the franchise's career list.