Pacers try to rebound vs. Jazz
The Indiana Pacers had their season-high four-game winning streak cut short the last time out and tonight they'll try and start a new run with the Utah Jazz in town.
Indiana dropped an 85-81 decision versus the Orlando Magic at home on Saturday, as Danny Granger scored 19 points and Tyler Hansbrough had 17 in a losing effort. The Pacers shot a season-worst 34.1 percent.
"It was a tough loss for us after a real strong week," Pacers coach Frank Vogel said. "We really never got into a rhythm offensively."
Tempers flared in the third quarter after Magic forward Quentin Richardson was ejected following an altercation, which was started when he and Granger came together in front of the Orlando bench. Richardson shoved Granger and other players got involved while some, including Magic coach Stan Van Gundy, tried to separate them. No punches were thrown, but Richardson received two technical fouls and was ejected. Granger, Hansbrough and Orlando's Earl Clark also received technical fouls in the fracas.
The Pacers, who have yet to lose back-to-back games this season, are 6-2 at home and will hit the road for two games against the Hawks and Grizzlies following Tuesday's game. They will try to get to the 90-point mark tonight and are 15-0 when doing so this season.
After playing just seven of the first 22 games at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, the Pacers will play eight of their remaining 12 games at home this month.
Utah is in the midst of playing five of six games away from Salt Lake City and dropped a 99-88 decision in New York last night. The Knicks were without Amare Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony went down with an injury, and still managed to send the Jazz to their third loss in four games.
Al Jefferson paced the Jazz with 22 points, while Raja Bell and Gordon Hayward scored 15 and 14 points, respectively, for Utah, which has lost three in a row as the guest and is 2-6 away from home this season. Paul Millsap posted nine points and grabbed 13 rebounds in defeat.
"It doesn't matter who we're playing or where we're playing at, we have to come out with a certain kind of attitude right from the beginning," Jazz head coach Tyrone Corbin said. "We have to play at a high level, especially on the defensive side of the floor, on the road for any chance to be successful and we didn't demonstrate that tonight."
The Jazz will return home following tonight's game to face Oklahoma City, but are scheduled to hit the road again for three straight games against the Grizzlies, Hornets and Thunder.
Utah won both meetings with Indiana a season ago and has won six of seven and eight of the previous 10 meetings between the teams. Utah is 38-35 all-time against the Pacers with a 25-12 record at home and a 13-23 mark on the road.