Pacers at Jazz

Game Preview: Pacers at Jazz

Friday, April 16, 2021 at 3:00 PM ET at Vivint Arena

Pacers.com Game Preview presented by DraftKings

Matchup

The Pacers (26-28) put a four-game road win streak on the line on Friday in Utah, when they have an afternoon showdown with the Jazz (41-14). Utah has the best record in the NBA and also is best team in the league at home with a 25-3 record at Vivint Arena.

Indiana is coming off a 132-124 win on Wednesday night in Houston as the Blue & Gold's offense continued to light up opposing defenses. The Pacers have topped 130 points in four of their last seven games, shooting better than 52 percent from the field in each of those contests.

One of the biggest reasons for the offensive outburst has been the strong play of Caris LeVert, who is becoming more comfortable in Indiana's offense in his second month with the Blue & Gold. LeVert has scored 20 or more points in three straight and five of his last seven contests after accomplishing the feat just once in his first 11 games as a Pacer.

PLAYOFF PICTURE: Tracking the Latest Standings, Remaining Schedules, and More »

The Jazz have been at the top of the standings virtually the entire season thanks to their impressive play on both ends of the floor. Utah is the only team in the NBA to rank in the top five in both offensive and defensive rating. The Jazz score 116.9 points per 100 possessions (third-best in the league) and hold opponents to just 107.6 points per 100 possessions on the other end (fourth-best in the league).

All-Stars Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert power the Jazz on both ends of the floor. Mitchell ranks ninth in the league in scoring at 26.5 points per game while also dishing out 5.3 assists per contest. Gobert, the NBA's Defensive Player of the Year in both 2018 and 2019, ranks second in the league in both rebounding (13.4 per game) and blocks (2.8), trailing only Pacers center Myles Turner in the latter category.

Projected Starters

Pacers: PG - Malcolm Brogdon, SG - Caris LeVert, SF - Edmond Sumner, PF - Justin Holiday, C - Domantas Sabonis
Jazz: PG - Mike Conley, SG - Donovan Mitchell, SF - Bojan Bogdanovic, PF - Royce O'Neale, C - Rudy Gobert

Injury Report

Pacers: Doug McDermott - questionable (left ankle sprain), Myles Turner - questionable (left ankle sprain), T.J. Warren - out (left foot stress fracture)

Jazz: Jordan Clarkson - probable (right ankle sprain), Derrick Favors - doubtful (sore right knee), Udoka Azubuike - out (right ankle severe sprain)

Last Meeting

Feb. 7, 2021: On a day where both teams struggled from the field, the Jazz pulled out a 103-95 win at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. The win was the 15th in the last 16 games for Utah, while the Pacers dropped their third straight game for the first time this season.

Domantas Sabonis finished with 20 points, nine rebounds, and two blocks for the Pacers in the loss before fouling out in the final minute on Sunday.

Fellow All-Star Donovan Mitchell narrowly missed out on a triple-double for Utah, tallying a game-high 27 points, nine rebounds, and 11 assists.

The Pacers shot what was at the time a season-low 39.8 percent from the field, but they did limit Utah to 40.9 percent shooting.

Noteworthy

  • With a win on Friday, the Jazz would sweep the season series with Indiana for the first time since the 2015-16 season.
  • The Pacers hold a narrow 46-45 lead in the all-time series with the Jazz, but are just 13-26 in Utah.
  • Jazz forwards Bojan Bogdanovic (2017-19) and Georges Niang (2016-17) both are former Pacers.

Tickets

A limited number of tickets for all upcoming Pacers home games from March 17 - April 21 are now on sale. Tickets for the final nine regular season home games will go on sale on Monday, April 19. Single Game Tickets »   Health & Safety Guidelines »

Broadcast Information TV & Radio Listings »

TV: Bally Sports Indiana/NBA TV - Chris Denari (play-by-play), Quinn Buckner (analyst), Jeremiah Johnson (studio host)
Radio: 93.5/107.5 The Fan - Mark Boyle (play-by-play), Pat Boylan (studio host)





by Wheat Hotchkiss
Pacers.com Writer/Editor
@Wheat_Hotchkiss

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