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(via Brooklyn Nets Instagram)

The Brooklyn Nets actually played defense for a change en route to a convincing win over the Indiana Pacers.

Danny Small

The Brooklyn Nets are back on track after their embarrassing loss to the Detroit Pistons on Tuesday night. They still don’t have Kevin Durant as he goes through the NBA’s health and safety protocols, but Kyrie Irving and James Harden were more than enough for the Indiana Pacers to handle.

This game wasn’t as close as the final score would lead box score watchers to believe. The Nets led 62-30 at halftime and cruised to an easy win. There were a few bumps in the road in the second half, but it never felt like the Pacers ever had a chance to really come back against this offense.

Irving dazzled with a handful of ridiculous moves en route to 35 points and eight assists. The potential All-Star was a perfect 17-for-17 from the charity stripe. Harden didn’t have it going offensively like we’re used to seeing, but he was 10-for-10 from the line as well.

Brooklyn improves to 15-12 on the season as they keep their hold on the third seed in the Eastern Conference. They start a brutal five-game west coast road trip on Saturday. But don’t worry Nets fans, Durant is likely to return in time for the weekend.

Here are three highlights and two observations from Brooklyn’s 104-94 win over the Pacers.

Highlight 1: In-And-Out Dribble

Highlight 2: Kyrie Swerving

Highlight 3: Showing Caris LeVert Love

It’s good to see Caris LeVert up on his feet after his recent health scare. Clearly, his Nets teammates still love him.

Observation 1: DeAndre Jordan Can Be The Anchor

The Brooklyn defense suffocated the Pacers in the first half, holding Indy to just 30 points. When the defense is playing like that, there is no team in the NBA that can beat the Nets. The Nets are a ticking time bomb on offense. It’s only a matter of time before they start pouring it on. They outscored Indiana 35-12 in the second quarter.

Although he’s a bit longer in the tooth, DeAndre Jordan can still play defense at a high level. He was the defensive anchor against the jumbo lineups that Indiana throws out there. Harden deserves credit for defending Myles Turner, but Jordan’s early defense on Domantas Sabonis set the tone for the entire team.

When he’s active and engaged, Jordan can still be a strong defensive anchor in the paint. The Nets are going to need him to be the guy he was on Monday night because they are still trying to figure out the depth chart at center.

Observation 2: Playing To The Competition

The last two nights have been a microcosm of Brooklyn’s season thus far. They come out flat against inferior opponents and can’t play enough defense to pull out the win. But they have no problem getting up for games against good teams.

The Nets have a few shocking losses on their resumΓ© this year. Tuesday’s loss to the Pistons was the most recent example, but they have two bad losses to the Wizards, a pair of L’s from the Grizzlies, and two more from the Cavaliers. Those are all teams that Brooklyn should be beating.

However, the wins have come against teams like the Pacers, 76ers, Clippers, Bucks, Nuggets, Warriors, and Heat. We know how dominant the Nets can be when they are active and engaged. Now they just need to put forth the effort on a more consistent basis.

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