NEW YORK — David West didn’t like it when Kevin Garnett blew in his ear, so he helped Indiana blow out the Nets.
West scored 15 of 17 points in the second half, Rodney Stuckey had 20, and the Pacers overwhelmed Brooklyn 110-85 on the night of Dec. 27.
West got a technical foul with 6:54 left in the first quarter when he confronted Garnett after the Nets veteran blew in his face.
The power forward was in a light mood afterward, comparing Garnett’s antics to when former Pacers guard Lance Stephenson blew in LeBron James’ ear during last season’s playoffs. “I think Lance’s was more sensual. That was an aggressive one”, West said. “I didn’t like it. It was too much.”
Indiana coach Frank Vogel wasn’t too sure what he was going to get from Stuckey, whose vision in his right eye was blurred after taking a shot during a Dec. 26 game at Detroit.
After Brooklyn cut the deficit to 69-60 with 2:54 remaining in the third quarter on a 3-pointer by Deron Williams, Stuckey — whose eye was still red — sparked a 24-11 run with nine points to take a 93-71 lead with 8:27 left in the fourth.
Indiana converted nine Nets turnovers into 12 points during that six minute-plus span.
“I’m fine though. It’s a little blurry,” said Stuckey, who scored 13 points in the second half. “Just got to play through it. We were short-handed tonight. C.J. Miles was out. (Donald Sloan) didn’t make the trip. Just needed to play.”
Indiana’s bench, third-best in the league with 39.6 points entering the game, outscored its Brooklyn counterparts 52-16.
Former Nets guard C.J. Watson, who played for Brooklyn during the 2012-13 season, came off the bench and scored 17 points. Luis Scola added 13, Chris Copeland had 12 and Lavoy Allen chipped in 10.
“We were just trying to out there and be aggressive and keep the lead,” Miles said. “We were moving the ball, playing well together and it worked out for us.”
Jarrett Jack had 22 points and Joe Johnson added 18 for Brooklyn, which had won its previous three games. The Nets, who entered the night 12-2 against teams with losing records, couldn’t handle the Pacers, who improved to 11-20.
Brooklyn trailed 50-47 at halftime but the second half was a different story as the Nets were outscored 60-38 while allowing the Pacers to shoot 23 for 43 from the field.
Once again Brooklyn decided to bring Williams and Brook Lopez off the bench after both players had recently returned from calf and back injuries, respectively.
After the game, Brooklyn coach Lionel Hollins was critical of his duo’s play, as two of the franchise’s top players shot a combined 2 for 12 and committed five turnovers, including three during that critical stretch in which the Pacers blew the game open.
Williams, who played his second straight game after missing the previous two due to a strained right calf, agreed with his coach’s assessment.
“He’s right, he’s definitely right, we do have to play better,” Williams said. “We’re two of the highest-paid players on the team and so that’s our responsibility to play better. Hopefully we can accept that challenge. I do, I think Brook does and just move forward.”