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Cold-shooting Pacers can't keep up with Jazz
By Conrad Brunner
On a night when the Pacers couldn't find the rim, Utah's Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap couldn't miss.
An offense that had been rolling right along hit the wall Friday night, managing its fewest points and shooting its lowest percentage (.348) since Frank Vogel took over as interim coach and the defense couldn't find a way to contain Utah's powerful frontcourt tandem of Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap, who combined for 54 points to lead the Jazz to a 95-84 victory Friday before 16,205 at Conseco Fieldhouse.
Jefferson scored 16 of his 30 in the fourth quarter and Millsap added 23 points and 18 rebounds as Utah overpowered the Pacers down the stretch.
Danny Granger scored 17 with nine rebounds for the Pacers.
Indiana had its two-game win streak snapped and dropped to 26-31, 16-13 at home and 9-4 under Vogel. Utah snapped a five-game losing streak and improved to 32-27, 15-14 on the road. It was the Jazz's first win in five games under interim coach Tyrone Corbin, who stepped in when long-time coach Jerry Sloan resigned on Feb. 10.
- "Weve got an angry bunch of Pacers in the locker room. Thats a good thing. Vogel
- Lack of defense lead to lack of offense. We have to have the ball to play offense. We couldnt get stops, couldnt get the ball off the boards. We must suck it up and move on to the next game. Roy Hibbert
- We couldnt make shots. We couldnt rebound. We got kicked on the boards, so our overall rating for the game would be a total F. They were big and strong and got after us and we just didnt respond. Danny Granger
- We got killed on the boards and lack of defense. They got after us. They got good position. They flat out beat us. Its just one game. We must regroup and get ready to go Sunday." Josh McRoberts
- "All the stuff that has happened in the last couple of weeks in this team, changes that weve made, adversities that we faced they hung in there kept working and got better and it showed tonight. It was good to finally see some rewards from all the hard work weve been putting in. Corbin
- "It was just, wow. It was great to be on this court after watching so many games here. It was just a great experience, too, to get so much support. Utah forward Gordon Hayward on playing in front of his hometown crowd
STAT OF THE GAME
After taking a 66-65 lead early in the fourth quarter, the Pacers missed nine of 12 shots and committed five turnovers in a 6-minute span as Utah took control of the game with an 18-5 run, with Jefferson scoring 10.
The Pacers missed their last nine shots of the first quarter (and were 5-of-24 in the period) as Utah jumped out to an early 26-13 lead. McRoberts had a pair of spectacular dunks, including one on an over-the-shoulder drop pass from Roy Hibbert that capped a 13-2 run and tied the game at 34 late in the second quarter.
Utah regained a narrow lead, 43-38, at the half and the teams remained close for the next 13 minutes. Tyler Hansbrough made a free throw to put the Pacers up 66-65 with 11:06 remaining, their first lead since the first quarter but it was short-lived as Jefferson took over in an 18-5 run that gave Utah an 83-71 lead and control of the game.
Any attempt at an Indiana rally was squelched by Utah's ability to control the offensive glass. On one particularly frustrating possession late in the game, the Jazz missed six shots but pulled five offensive boards and burned nearly a minute off the clock.
BY THE NUMBERS
Granger was 7-of-14 overall, 1-of-4 from the arc for his 17 points, just missing a double-double with nine rebounds. Darren Collison shot 7-of-14 for 16 points but had just three assists. Hibbert scored 14 with eight rebounds and two blocks but shot 6-of-16. The second unit struggled mightily as the reserves combined to shoot 6-of-32 (.188). The Pacers made their fewest 3-pointers of the season (two, in 14 attempts) and had their fewest assists (10) of the season.
Jefferson was 14-of-26 from the floor, adding nine rebounds, five blocks and three assists to his 30 points. Millsap shot 9-of-18 for his 23 and his 18 rebounds were a season-high. In his first game since being acquired from New Jersey, Devin Harris scored 14 points with seven rebounds and five assists off the bench, whole fellow newcomer Derrick Favors had six points and three rebounds in 15 minutes. Utah shot 44.4 percent.
- The Jazz are the second team to outrebound the Pacers in 13 games since Frank Vogel was named interim head coach. The other was Miami on Feb. 15.
- Led by Roy Hibbert's five, the Pacers had 20 offensive rebounds to Utah's 19. However, the Jazz outscored the Pacers, 18-8, in second chance points.
- Utah outscored the Pacers, 56-42, in the paint, tying the most scored in the paint by an Indiana opponent this season. Four of Indiana's last five opponents have scored 50-plus points in the paint.
- Utah tied its season-high with 13 blocked shots tonight, while Indiana had 10 rejections. The Pacers have blocked double-digit shots in a game six times this season, including two of the last three.
- The Pacers saw their streak of scoring at least 100 points snapped at 11.
- 84 points represents Indiana's lowest scoring output since it had 83 points against Boston, 12/28.
- In his pro debut in his hometown, the Jazz' Gordon Hayward scored two points, dealt a bench-high three assists and collected one rebound.
- The first team to not hit a 3-pt FG against the Pacers this season, the Jazz were 0-6 from beyond the arc this evening.
The Pacers' four-game homestand continues Sunday against Steve Nash and the Phoenix Suns (Noon, WIBC 93 FM). Please note, the game will not be televised locally. Tickets:
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