Wednesday, Nov. 8 at 7:00 PM ET at Gainbridge Fieldhouse
Game Recap: Pacers 134, Jazz 118
Through three quarters of action on Wednesday night, it appeared no lead was safe between the Indiana Pacers and Utah Jazz.
In the fourth quarter, however, the highest-scoring team in the NBA put the game away, utilizing its depth on offense while also locking in on the defensive end.
After trading the lead 14 times through 36 minutes, and leading by three points going into the final frame, the Pacers (5-3) scored 10 unanswered points midway through the fourth quarter and never looked back in a 134-118 victory over the Jazz (2-7) at Gainbridge Fieldhouse.
Indiana led 101-98 before outscoring the Jazz 33-20 in the final frame. In the fourth quarter, the Pacers held the Jazz to 30.4 percent shooting from the field.
The Pacers’ bench played at a high level in the fourth quarter, outscoring the Jazz reserves 20-2. The Blue & Gold bench also had more points than the team’s starters (20-13) in the final frame.
“I thought our second unit tonight really gave us a lot,” Pacers head coach Rick Carlisle said. “They gave us physical play defensively and they were doing good things offensively. They were in there during some of those stretches in the fourth … and our starters came back in and finished the game in a big way. It was great to see.”
In all, six players scored in double figures for the Pacers, and the team combined for 26 assists. The Pacers outshot the Jazz 51.7 to 46.9 percent overall.
Pacers forward Aaron Nesmith scored 24 points off the bench to lead the Blue & Gold, while Bennedict Mathurin and Myles Turner logged 22 points each, and Tyrese Haliburton and Jalen Smith each scored 16. Haliburton also finished with 13 assists, Smith pulled down 11 rebounds, Mathurin had nine rebounds and Turner had six boards.
For the Jazz, Jordan Clarkson led all scorers with 33 points (12-for-26 shooting), Lauri Markkanen had 24 points and nine rebounds, and John Collins totaled 14 points and nine boards.
After trading the 10 times in the first half, the Pacers used a late push to build a 67-60 lead over the Jazz by intermission. Second-year Pacers guard Andrew Nembhard drilled a corner 3-pointer at the buzzer to extend the Blue & Gold lead to seven before the break.
Turner came out on fire to start the game, registering 20 of his points in the first half on 7-for-10 shooting. Nesmith also played a key role early, registering 12 points for the Blue & Gold in the opening 24 minutes.
Quarter one was all about the big runs.
The Pacers opened the game ahead 7-0, thanks to five points Turner, but the visitors responded with a 12-0 scoring spree that saw Markkanen and Clarkson score five points each.
Following a timeout by Carlisle with 8:46 left in the opening frame, Mathurin drained a 3-pointer and Turner added a basket to knot at 12. The teams then kept it close until a 7-0 run by Utah put the Jazz up 25-16 with 4:27 on the clock.
In the final 2:32 of the first quarter, the Pacers scored 10 straight points, capped by 3-pointers by Buddy Hield and Mathurin, to tie the game at 29.
The sides traded the lead four times through the first four minutes of the second quarter, but the Pacers were able to stay ahead at 39-38 thanks to 3-pointers from Mathruin and Hield.
Indiana later went on a 10-2 run to lead 58-51 with 97 seconds left. Baskets by Kelly Olynyk and Clarkson, and a 3-pointer by Keyonte George, narrowed the deficit, but the Pacers stayed ahead 67-60 thanks to the clutch shot by Nembhard.
Haliburton had no points, but seven assists, at halftime. He found his shooting stroke in the third quarter, posting 14 points in the period on 5-for-8 shooting.
Alternatively, Clarkson went 5-for-9 for 13 points in the third quarter.
The Jazz put together an 11-2 run in the first two minutes of the third quarter, retaking the lead at 71-69 following 3-pointers by Markkanen and Ochai Agbaji.
Indiana and Utah continued trading the lead until seven straight points by Haliburton gave the Pacers an 87-80 edge with 4:31 left in the third frame. That scoring run then extended to an 11-2 stretch, with the Pacers ahead 91-84 with 3:22 on the clock.
The Jazz were able to tie the game twice before the end of the third period, but a basket by Mathurin with 12 seconds left and a stepback jumper near the free throw line by Nembhard with a second on the clock gave the Pacers a 101-98 lead going into the final frame.
To start the fourth quarter, the Pacers went on a mini 5-0 run before the Jazz answered with a 6-0 scoring streak.
From 9:45 in the fourth quarter to 7:03, the Pacers strung together the key 10-0 run on four points each by Brown and Smith. That scoring stretch extended to 14-2, and the Jazz never got closer than ninepoints to the lead the remainder of the game.
“Everyone was just locked in to another level,” Smith said of the bench play in the fourth quarter. “We took our intensity up to another level, took pride and guarded our matchups one-on-one, and that led to our offense.”
Indiana now turns its attention to a tough task on Thursday night when the Milwaukee Bucks (5-2) come to town. This season, the Pacers are 0-1 on the second legs of back-to-backs while the Bucks are 1-0. Milwaukee beat the Detroit Pistons (2-7) 120-118 on Wednesday.
Inside The Numbers
Bennedict Mathurin finished with season highs in both points (22) and rebounds (9) against the Jazz.
Indiana’s bench outscored Utah’s reserves 59-37 in the game.
Both teams made 17 total free throws in the game.
The Pacers outscored the Jazz 74-66 in the paint.
Indiana had 11 turnovers to Utah’s 21 giveaways. The Pacers had just four turnovers in the second half.
Myles Turner matched a season-high with three blocks in the game.
Jalen Smith recorded his first double-double of the season. Tyrese Haliburton, who leads the league in assists per game, earned his sixth double-double across seven games played.
Indiana Pacers Postgame Media Availability (vs. Utah Jazz) | November 8, 2023
You Can Quote Me On That
“I’ve got a whole different role. I don’t get as easy shots as I was getting last year. I’m playing against better players. I’m just trying to find the right way to play and help my team win.” – Benedict Mathurin on moving to the regular starting lineup this season
“Defenders are expecting me to go all the way to the rim. That creates a lot of open shots for my teammates, and I’m trying to pass it.” – Mathurin on averaging more assists this season
“The main thing for me is defense. I’m trying to get my defense to the same level as my offense. I feel like it’s going to come as the season goes on. … That’s the main thing for me as a player, and I feel like that’s the best way possible to help my team win.” – Mathurin on improving his game
“Last year obviously didn’t go the way I wanted, so I dug-in in the offseason and just kept working. Right now, I’m just playing my game and doing my job.” – Smith on his play this season
“It was my night. The ball was finding me and I took advantage of what the defense was giving me.” – Nesmith on his 24 points
“As a second unit, you kind of have an advantage coming into the game. You get to see the speed and how the defense is playing and that tempo of the game. .. I feel like our second unit brought energy, and we were just locked-in from the get-go.” – Smith on the bench play
“I thought this was probably Benn’s best game in two years. People want to see him shoot a bunch of shots and score a bunch of points, but that isn’t necessarily what wins. What wins is being a part of a system, doing your job within the system, taking the right shots within the system, running to the corner when your job is to run to the corner, and making simple plays. I thought tonight he took some major steps. … He earned the 38 minutes.” – Carlisle on Mathurin’s performance
“I chalk it up to the type of character that he has. He went through some things last year where there was some real ups and downs, mentally (and) emotionally. (He) starts 27 games, gets benched, goes through some of the mental gyrations with that and just decided that, ‘I’ve gotta pick it up. I’ve gotta work harder when I get my opportunities. I gotta raise my level.’ He did that.” – Carlisle on Smith
“Aaron is a winning kid. I spent time with him in the summer and know what he’s about. He just plays hard and loves being a part of the team. He’s doing some special things for us.” – Carlisle on Nesmith
“Great players recognize what is needed. In the first half, they were trapping him, they were hitting him, they were trying to get the ball out of his hands. All he did was keep moving it to the right people. We had a seven-point lead at halftime, which was great because we went through some tough stretches in the first quarter, and a little bit in the second quarter as well. But in the third quarter, he found the openings. Lloyd (Pierce) had a couple of good suggestions of ways to get him loose, and he started attacking downhill and the scoring aspects of his game changed. Great players on nights where shots aren't there find other ways to beat you And that's exactly what he did.” – Carlisle on Haliburton
Stat of The Night
In the fourth quarter, the Pacers’ bench outscored the Jazz 20-2. The Pacers bench also had more points than its starters (20-13) in the final frame.
- Indiana is 49-48 all-time against Utah.
- With three blocks on Wednesday, Pacers center Myles Turner passed Horace Grant for 72nd on the all-time blocks list. Turner has 1,137 blocks in his career.
- Making two 3-pointers on Wednesday night, Pacers sharpshooter Buddy Hield is now tied with Carmelo Anthony (1,731) for the 27th most 3-pointers by a player all-time.
- Notre Dame guard Dara Mabrey revved up the crowd pregame.Wednesday night’s home game marked 100 days until the 2024 NBA All-Star Weekend commences in Indianapolis.
- The Pacers will wear their CITY EDITION jerseys and debut a special court on Thursday night against the Milwaukee Bucks. Get a sneak peek and learn more at Pacers.com/City.
- Indiana is 2-0 against Western Conference teams this season.
The Pacers welcome Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks to Gainbridge Fieldhouse on Thursday, Nov. 9 at 7:00 PM ET. Find Tickets >>