Jazz blow lead, but finish off Pacers in OT

Jan 27 2013 - 12:06am


(STEVE C. WILSON/The Associated Press)
Indiana Pacers’ George Hill (left) is fouled by Utah Jazz guard Jamaal Tinsley (6) at EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City on Saturday.
(STEVE C. WILSON/The Associated Press)
Indiana Pacers’ George Hill (left) is fouled by Utah Jazz guard Jamaal Tinsley (6) at EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City on Saturday.

SALT LAKE CITY -- The race to 100 needed a few extra minutes.

In a game that felt more like a heavyweight fight than a 40-yard sprint, the Utah Jazz slugged out a 114-110 victory over the Indiana Pacers Saturday night at EnergySolutions Arena.

Down the stretch it seemed clear each team was trying to get to the magic century mark before the other.

Clinging to a 98-96 lead in the final seconds of regulation, the Jazz simply got too sloppy and allowed the Pacers to push the game into overtime. They redeemed themselves early in the extra period, scoring three quick baskets in the first minute before holding on for the hard-fought win.

Despite injuring his right shoulder, Jazzman Gordon Hayward helped preserve the win when he forced an Indiana turnover with seven seconds left in overtime.

Randy Foye and Paul Millsap added free throws in the closing seconds to give the Jazz (24-20) their sixth consecutive home victory.

Indiana (26-18) suffered its seventh consecutive loss at EnergySolutions Arena.

A night after struggling in a loss to the Los Angeles Lakers, Utah center Al Jefferson bounced back with 25 points on 11-for-20 shooting.

Millsap added 21, plus four rebonds, five steals, two assists and two blocked shots.

Indiana had three players score 20 or more: David West (24), Paul George (23) and George Hill (21).

The Pacers outscored the Jazz 30-22 in the fourth quarter but Utah bounced back and on the overtime period 16-12.

Jefferson scored eight points in overtime and Millsap added four.

When the Jazz and Pacers met Dec. 19 in Indianapolis, the Pacers made pests of themselves on the defensive end, holding the Jazz to just 37 percent shooting on the way to a 10-point victory.

Jefferson was held to just four points that night and Millsap scored seven for one of their worst combined efforts of the season.

But things were different on Saturday. Millsap and Jefferson established themselves early and finished with a combined 46 points.

"We set the tone, we set the tempo," Millsap said.

The Pacers shot 63 percent in the first half and outrebounded the Jazz 20-9. Even so, they only led by three, 48-45, at halftime.

West led the way with 14 points on 6-for-8 shooting. George and Roy Hibbert had eight apiece.

Although they didn't look particularly sharp, the Jazz were scrappy in the first half, shooting 50 percent from the field.

Millsap and Jefferson had 10 points apiece. Jamaal Tinsley recorded four of Utah's 10 first-half assists.

Hayward came off the bench for eight points.

The Jazz led 98-92 with 1:37 remaining in regulation they squandered it away with poor decision making and sloppy play.

The Pacers tied the game after DeMarre Carroll was called for a foul with nine seconds.

The Jazz had time for a final shot but Hayward had the ball stripped away.

Indiana won the fourth quarter, outscoring the Jazz 30-22.

George scored nine points in the period. Carroll had seven for the Jazz.


Jazz 114, Pacers 110

* BEST PLAY: Clearly bothered by a few early no-calls, Paul Millsap expresses his displeasure with a high-flying dunk over Roy Hibbert at the six minute mark of the first quarter.

* BEST LINE: Millsap finished with 21 points, four rebounds, five steals and two blocked shots for the Jazz.

* KEY STAT: The Jazz got a combined 46 points from Millsap and Jefferson. That's a far cry from their previous meeting with the Pacers, when they were held to just 11 points.

* IN SUPPORT OF BIG AL: Coming off one of a 5-for-14, 12-point performance vs. the Lakers on Friday, Jefferson got a vote of confidence from his head coach.

Before Saturday's game, Tyrone Corbin said he has no problem sticking with Jefferson, even when he struggling on offense.

"He does more things than just scoring for us," Corbin said. "He's a good rebounder. And although folks don't think he's the best defensive player, he actually does some good things for us on his man. He gives us good effort, he's a big body that knows how to play inside. You try to give guys opportunity to work through their struggles during the game and see where it goes."

Jefferson is the Jazz's leading scorer, averaging 17 points a game, however he had gone 17-for-45 going into Saturday's game.

* INJURY REPORT: Mo Williams (right thumb surgery) remains out for the Jazz. ... The Pacers went without forward Danny Granger (sore left knee), who has yet to play this season.

* UP NEXT: The Jazz have three consecutive home games this week. The Rockets are in Monday, the Hornets on Wednesday and the Trail Blazers on Friday. They'll also play at Portland on Saturday.

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