Dec 4, 2013; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Indiana Pacers small forward Paul George (24) is defended by Utah Jazz small forward Richard Jefferson (24). Mandatory Credit: Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports.

Indiana Pacers improve to 17-2

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.

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Tags: Indiana Pacers NBA Utah Jazz

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