Notebook: Pacers 104, Jazz 84



Posted Dec 19, 2012 10:09 PM

By Conrad Brunner for NBA.com

THE FACTS: It isn't happening dramatically, suddenly or even obviously, but the Indiana Pacers are finding themselves. Their 104-84 rout of Utah Wednesday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse was one of their most complete performances of the season and represented a strong bounceback from a frustrating loss at Central Division rival Milwaukee Tuesday. Gerald Green scored 21 off the bench to lead all scorers for Indiana (14-12), but Paul George was the dominant player with 20 points, 11 rebounds and four blocks. George Hill also scored 20, adding five rebounds and five assists. Derrick Favors came off the bench to lead Utah (14-13) with 16 points and nine rebounds.

QUOTABLE: "Clearly, last night's loss to the Bucks didn't sit well with our guys. They came out very focused, really guarded in the first half and that helped us get some offensive flow going."
-- Indiana coach Frank Vogel

THE STAT: Utah's two leading scorers, post players Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap, combined to produce 11 points on 3-for-15 shooting.

TURNING POINT: Utah actually started relatively well, jumping out to an 11-6 lead but George and Green stepped forward, combining for 11 points in a 23-7 run that put the Pacers up 29-18. Utah closed to 33-26 early in the second quarter but the Indiana defense dominated the rest of the half, limiting the Jazz to five points in the final 7½ minutes of the second quarter. With George scoring the first eight points, including consecutive dunks, the Pacers put together a 20-5 burst to extend the lead to 53-31 at the break.

QUOTABLE II: "The way we came out last night was very unlike us, especially when the way we've been playing lately. We knew we had to step it up and I took it personally to try to to get going and try to be aggressive at both ends."
- Paul George

HOT: The current East Player of the Week, George is making a run at monthly honors for December, averaging 22.3 points, 8.1 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 1.56 steals and 1.44 blocked shots in the last nine games while shooting .505 overall and .440 from the 3-point line. He shot 9 of 13 against the Jazz. Hill is quietly coming on strong, as well, averaging 17.8 points, 6.0 rebounds and 6.0 assists in the last four games, and he was 8 of 13 tonight. Green shot 7-for-12 on the way to his season high.

NOT: This was not a happy homecoming for Indianapolis native and former Butler star Gordon Hayward, who managed just eight points in just under 13 minutes, hitting 2-for-6 from the field and committing five turnovers. Utah shot 2-for-15 from the 3-point line, with Randy Foye going 1-for-6.

GOOD MOVE: With Tyler Hansbrough bothered by a first-half shoulder injury but available to play, Vogel opted to give D.J. Augustin a chance to play in the fourth quarter and it might've sparked a return to form from the veteran, who hit 3-for-4 shots and scored seven points -- just one short of his season high.

BAD MOVE: Utah forward Enes Kanter decided to get physical with Pacers backup big men Hansbrough and Jeff Pendergraph in the fourth quarter after the game was well in hand, drawing the ire of both for the pointless banging.

NOTABLE: Indiana is 10-5 since starting the season 4-7. ... The Pacers are 6-2 on the second night of back-to-back games. ... This was George's fourth double-double of the season. ... Indiana is 4-0 when scoring at least 100 points and is 10-3 when holding opponents below 90. ... Indiana's 32-point lead in the third quarter represented Utah's biggest deficit of the season. ... The Pacers shot 51.3 percent from the floor, a season high. ... Indiana held a 52-28 advantage on points in the paint.

UP NEXT: For the Pacers, Friday at Cleveland, Saturday at New Orleans, Wednesday vs. Atlanta. For the Jazz, Saturday at Miami, Sunday at Orlando, Wednesday vs. Golden State.