The Indiana Pacers bounced back from a tough loss to the Trail Blazers on Monday to beat the Utah Jazz 95-86 at EnergySolutions Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah. Indiana improved to 17-2, and Utah fell to 4-16.
The Jazz led 69-68 in the fourth quarter after an Enes Kanter layup with 11:36 to go. Halfway through the fourth, the Jazz remained in the game down 79-76 with 6:41 to go. The Pacers would work up a more comfortable cushion the rest of the game, and Paul George scored five points in the final minute to leave no doubt.
Playing the Jazz on the road after losing a draining game to Portland could have been a dangerous contest for the Pacers. It is easy to overlook a relatively easy opponent on a long road trip that includes San Antonio and OKC on Saturday and Sunday, respectively. Gutting out a win against Utah reinforces the gritty image of the Pacers as the best defensive team in the league.
Indiana produced a balanced scoring attack with six players in double digits. Paul George led the Pacers with 19 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 assists. Lance Stephenson had 15 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists. Luis Scola scored 14 points and grabbed 6 boards, and David West was a facilitator with 8 assists, 5 rebounds, and 10 points. Roy Hibbert scored 13 points with 9 rebounds before he fouled out.
Utah was led by two players with double-doubles. Derrick Favors scored 22 points with 13 boards, and Enes Kanter scored 20 points with 10 boards. First round pick Trey Burke had a good night as the floor general with 9 assists and 13 points.
Next game: The Pacers head to San Antonio to take on the Spurs (15-3) at 8:30 pm ET on December 7th. The Jazz head to Portland on Friday to play the Trail Blazers (16-3) at 10 pm ET.