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Rivalry Check is an ongoing series in which we preview 10 of the top teams in the Eastern Conference.

New Faces: The Indiana Pacers didn't make too huge of a splash this offseason, only some minor tweaks here and there. The selected forward Solomon Hill out of Arizona with the No. 23 back in the NBA Draft. It was among one of the many unpredictable moves during this year's draft, with Hill being off many analyst's radar.

In need of a backup point guard, the Pacers signed C.J. Watson, formerly of the Brooklyn Nets. Last season, Watson averaged 6.8 points and 2 assists as Deron William's backup. The team also added Donald Sloan, who last year averaged 4.1 points and 1.9 assists with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Tags: c.j. watson, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Copeland, d.j. augustin, Danny Granger, Deron Williams, donald sloan, gerald green, iman shumpert, j.r. smith, jeff pendergraph, Knicks, luis scola, metta world peace, miles plumee, orlando johnson, paul george, RivalryCheck, roy hibbert, sam young, solomon hill, tyler hansbrough, tyson chandler, Sam Spiegelman
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On Friday night, the Nets defeated the Indiana Pacers by a final score of 117-109.

The Skinny: The Nets opened the game 7-of-8 from the field, with Joe Johnson coming out of the gate with the hot hand. Brook Lopez then scored eight straight Nets? points to open an eight-point lead. Lopez and Johnson combined to shoot 10-for-13 for 22 points in the opening frame, helping Brooklyn take a seven-point lead after one.

A 7-0 Pacers? run got Indiana back to within three early in the second quarter. But Deron Williams scored seven straight Nets? points during a 12-2 run, which put Brooklyn ahead by 14. Williams then drilled two more three-pointers to increase the lead to 21. He scored 20 points in the quarter, and the Nets led by 19 at the break.

Tags: brook lopez, david west, deron williams, joe johnson, NBA, Nets, nets, nets pacers, pacers, paul george, rapid recap
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Tonight at 7 p.m., the Nets head to Bankers Life Fieldhouse in a game that has huge playoff implications.

If the Pacers win, they will clinch at least the third seed in the Eastern Conference playoff picture. The Nets have won both previous matchups over Indiana this season, so even if they lose, they would hold the tiebreaker in that category.

But with only three games remaining after tonight, Brooklyn would not be able to match Indiana?s overall record if it drops tonight?s contest.

Tags: Brooklyn Nets, indiana pacers, Nets, nets, pacers, paul george, pregame primer
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On Monday night, the Nets defeated the Indiana Pacers by a final score of 89-84 in overtime.

The Skinny: Brook Lopez scored 10 of the Nets? first 13 points, as Brooklyn set up quick offensive sets to combat the Pacers? No. 2 ranked defense. Indiana?s defense improved slightly, but the team?s shooting was way off in the opening frame (6-of-25 from the field). The Nets led by seven after one.

Jeff Pendergraph?s outside shooting led to 10 points, which helped the Pacers tie the game halfway through the second quarter as part of a 15-5 run. Brooklyn native Lance Stephenson gave Indiana the lead later in the quarter. George Hill hit a buzzer-beating three-pointer to give the Pacers a five-point lead at the break.

Tags: brook lopez, cj watson, davd west, deron williams, gerald wallace, joe johnson, Nets, nets, pacers, paul george, rapid recap, roy hibbert
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Tonight at 6 p.m., the Nets host the Indiana Pacers at Barclays Center.

Brooklyn has won five straight games, four of which have come against teams under .500.

The Pacers have won four straight games and head to Brooklyn leading the Central Division by two games over the Chicago Bulls.

Tags: Brooklyn Nets, deron williams, injuries, Nets, nets, pacers, paul george, pregame primer
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