Pacers face Jazz in final game of west coast trip


In the final game of their trip out west, the Indiana Pacers travel to Salt Lake to take on the Utah Jazz after suffering their first loss in six games.

WHO: Indiana Pacers (12-6) @ Utah Jazz (8-9)
WHEN: Tonight, 9 pm ET / 8 pm CT
WHERE: EnergySolutions Arena (Salt Lake City, UT)

RADIO: 1070 the Fan

The Pacers
The best coast had treated the Pacers very well. With wins over the Lakers and Clippers behind huge nights from Paul George, Indiana went into the second night of a back-to-back with Portland on a high. Then things got ugly.

George had just 11 points on 4/17 shooting, including a goose egg in makes from long-range (0-9). C.J. Miles did everything he could to keep the Blue & Gold involved with 27 points, but the night belonged to the Blazers.

However, Indiana can still cap off the trip with a win tonight and keep the momentum rolling, and Miles and George will be the focal point of success once again.

The Jazz
Though Utah is defensively sound, their 95.9 points per game have them fourth from the bottom (27th) in the league. But Pacers fans will be quick to point to the 97-76 thrashing that Indy suffered at home on Halloween, and rightly so.

Gordon Hayward still leads the Jazz in scoring at just over 18 a game, but Derrick Favors isn’t far behind. Hayward didn’t motivate the early season win over Indiana, though. That night, there were six Utah players in double figures, and Rudy Gobert was one point away from making it seven. That kind of balanced spread in scoring became too much.

But, Gobert is out for the foreseeable future with an MCL sprain which may allow Ian Mahinmi an opportunity to be more dominant without the mountain man in the post. If Indiana goes big, Allen and Mahinmi will likely get the starting nod.

Next: Reports: Solomon Hill on the trading block

Tipoff for tonight’s game at EnergySolutions Arena set for 9 pm, then the Pacers return home for a matchup with the still potentially undefeated Golden State Warriors on Tuesday.