Nets guard Patty Mills (8) drives against Indiana Pacers guard...

Nets guard Patty Mills (8) drives against Indiana Pacers guard T.J. McConnell (9) during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Indianapolis, Saturday, Dec. 10, 2022.  Credit: AP/Doug McSchooler

INDIANAPOLIS — The Nets may be deeper than anyone thought.

Despite resting their top seven scorers, they beat the Pacers, 136-133, on Saturday night.

Cam Thomas scored a career-high 33 points in 29:09 off the bench for the Nets (16-12), who played without Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Ben Simmons, Joe Harris, Royce O’Neale, Nic Claxton, Seth Curry and T.J. Warren.

Patty Mills had 24 points, Edmond Sumner added 21 and Day’ron Sharpe had 20 points and 12 rebounds. Markieff Morrs added 15 points and 11 rebounds and Yuta Watanabe returned from a hamstring injury to score 10.

The Nets, who trailed by 14 points in the third quarter, had to sweat out Andrew Nembhard’s potential tying three-pointer at the buzzer before celebrating a win that came with only nine players in uniform.

Trailing 120-113 with 5:04 to play, the Nets turned it around with a 15-2 run. They scored at least 40 points in the first and fourth quarters in winning their third straight and for the sixth time in seven games. They outrebounded the Pacers 59-30 overall and 29-7 on the offensive end.

None of the starters from Friday night’s 120-116 victory over Atlanta played and Durant didn’t even make the trip, at coach Jacque Vaughn’s urging.

“When you have two or three guys, rotational guys out, it puts a strain and a stress on two or three more guys and then we’re really not in a position of taking care of the team in total,” Vaughn said. “We think, how does it affect everyone else so we can get to a place where next week we’re looking at ourselves in the mirror with pretty good health mentally and physically.”

Perhaps, but league officials have tried to discourage the roster management practice, especially for nationally televised games and for road games so fans can see the players they bought tickets to see.

Vaughn doesn’t believe the Nets did anything to violate the rule or the spirit of the rule. “I hope that fan knows Kevin really wanted to play, he understands that he [Durant] wants to win every game, but it’s a decision that for us, as an organization, just had to do,’’ Vaughn said. “I would say to that fan I’m looking out for Kevin Durant’s future and really apologize that this is the game he [the fan] chose. But understand that Kevin has given all that he’s had in every game since the beginning of the season.’’

Pacers coach Rick Carlisle understood. “What’s happening tonight, this is part of playing. This is a very extreme case,” Carlisle said. “In coaching, when you’re managing a team as an executive, minutes accumulate, aches and pains this time of year, you’re thinking big picture, and a day at the right time can really help a player over the next two weeks type of thing.”

Tyrese Haliburton finished with 35 points and nine assists for the Pacers (14-13). Six of Haliburton’s teammates also scored in double figures as they made 21 three-pointers — two short of breaking the franchise single-game record set against the Nets in October — in 44 attempts.

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