Struggles From Behind The Arc Dooms Pacers In Loss To Jazz
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INDIANAPOLIS – Winter-like temperatures are lingering in Indiana and the local NBA team didn’t do much to heat things up on Wednesday night.
The Pacers were 3-of-23 from three-point range on Wednesday, getting outscored by 24 points from behind the arc.
That was the difference in a rare 20-point (104-84) home loss to the Utah Jazz.
Winners of 14 of their last 16, including 8 in a row on the road, Utah showed the Pacers why they’ve been so stifling of late.
With 7-2 center Rudy Gobert protecting the rim, while also putting up 23 points and 14 rebounds, the Jazz do not have to help off shooters---a major reason why they’ve been one of the better three-point defensive teams this year.
The Pacers felt that brunt on Wednesday, missing their first 12 three-point attempts.
“It’s a good defensive team and I don’t think we got clear looks,” McMillan said of the Pacers not hitting a three pointer until 7 minutes to play in the 3rd quarter.
“We were playing against defense all night long. They establish their tempo and the game is at their tempo. Basically, we could not get any stops defensively to try to get out and get some easy opportunities. With Gobert (who missed the January matchup against the Pacers) in the lineup, if that defense is set, they’re really good.”
After jumping out to an early 8-2 lead, Indiana quickly lost control.
Utah’s stud rookie Donovan Mitchell, who played collegiately at Louisville, felt right at home in front of a strong U of L contingent. Mitchell had 10 points in the opening quarter, helping the Jazz to a 12-point cushion at the end of one.
The Pacers eventually cut the lead to 7 points late in the third quarter.
But with Victor Oladipo off the floor to start the 4th quarter, the Jazz outscored the Pacers by 13 points in less than 5 minutes of action.
Indiana never seriously challenged the rest of the way.
Myles Turner led the Pacers with 24 points on 10-of-14 shooting.
It was another difficult night for Oladipo. After 10 turnovers and 5-of-16 shooting on Monday, Oladipo was just 6-of-19 from the floor on Wednesday.
Oladipo fell on his right elbow in the first quarter on Wednesday. After flexing out his elbow a few times, the All-Star guard remained in the game and ended up playing 33 minutes. He received treatment on the elbow after the game, but said afterwards that the injury was just part of the “bumps and bruises” of an NBA season.
With the loss, Indiana is tied for the 4th seed in the Eastern Conference with 17 games remaining.
What’s Next: The Pacers (37-28) will play the Hawks at home on Friday, before traveling to Boston on Sunday night.