Sunday, March 2, 2014 at 6:00 PM ET at Bankers Life Fieldhouse
Game Preview: Pacers vs Jazz
Scott Agness | February 28, 2014
Fresh off a game the night before in Boston, the Pacers return home to face the Utah Jazz early Sunday evening.
The Pacers (45-13) are the most dominant home team in the NBA, successful in 28 of 31 games at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. With 18 sellouts on the season, the crowd has been a big reason why. Playing on the second night in as many games, they’ll need their help. Although they’re riding a four-game win streak, they’re just 8-7 in similar situations this year and have five back-to-backs this month.
Meanwhile, the Jazz (21-37) are out East for a six-game trip over 10 days. They open the trip in Cleveland on Friday night and then Indianapolis is their second destination. The Jazz are last in the Northwest Division and have the third-fewest road wins in the NBA this year (eight), and are 5-5 in their past 10 games.
Playing for a Western Conference team, Brownsburg native Gordon Hayward will be playing in front of family and friends in his home state for the only time this season. The 6-foot-8 forward leads his team in scoring (15.8 points per game) and minutes (36 per contest). In February, however, he averaged just 12 points and hit only 33 percent of his field goals.
Jazz rookie point guard Trey Burke missed time early with a broken finger, but has become a nice addition to their ball club. Contributing 12.7 points and 5.5 assists per contest, the 21-year-old was named Western Conference Rookie of the Month in both December and January.
The Jazz may be without Jeremy Evans, who sprained his ankle during their practice in Indy on Saturday. He’s listed as a game-time decision, as is the Pacers’ George Hill. Hill made the trip to Boston last night but team trainers believed Hill playing could’ve made the injury worse, according to Pacers coach Frank Vogel.
Pacers: George Hill, (game-time decision, left shoulder bruise)
Jazz: Jeremy Evans (game-time decision, sprained left ankle)
“I’m not really there yet, to be honest with you. I’m more along the lines of trying to win every game, trying to get the best record possible.” – Frank Vogel on whether he’s started preparations for the playoffs
“George Hill is a solid force and he makes plays for us. He does his job and does the work.” – David West
- The Pacers have won three of the past four meetings with Utah, including two in a row at home.
- Jazz forward Brandon Rush appeared in 224 games with the Pacers from 2008-11, averaging 8.9 points and 3.6 rebounds per game.
- Jazz assistant coach Sidney Lowe wore the Blue and Gold for one season, 1983-84.
December 4: Part of a five-game trip out west to open December, the Pacers came away with a 95-86 win over the Jazz, which snapped a six-game losing streak at Utah. The Jazz led by as many as 11 in the first half, but the Pacers turned up their defensive intensity in the second half while receiving quality contributions from numerous players.
Six Pacers players reached double figures, including all five Indiana starters. Paul George scored nine of his team-high 19 points in the fourth period and Roy Hibbert had 13 points and nine rebounds before fouling out for the first time of the season. Jazz big man Derrick Favors led all scorers with a season-high 22 points. Indy’s Gordon Hayward was kept to 12 points on just 3-of-14 shooting.
Broadcast Information | Find Local Listings »
TV: FOX Sports Indiana – Chris Denari (play-by-play), Quinn Buckner (analyst), Brooke Olzendam (sideline reporter/host)
Radio: FM 107.5/AM 1070 The Fan, Pacers Radio Network – Mark Boyle (play-by-play), Slick Leonard (analyst), Kevin Lee (sideline reporter/host)
Limited seats remain for this game. Secure your seats now. Find Tickets »
WEATHER UPDATE: Based on the weather forecast, we plan to be in constant contact with the NBA and our local government officials throughout the weekend. At this point, all parties expect the game to be played as scheduled. We will closely monitor the situation and provide updates as necessary. Fans are encouraged to return to this page for all game related information and updates.