Jazz open homestand versus Pacers
(Sports Network) - After a hiccup on the road against the Los Angeles Lakers, the Utah Jazz aim to bounce back Saturday night versus the Indiana Pacers in the opener of a four-game homestand.
The Jazz had a four-game winning streak halted by the downtrodden Lakers Friday night in Hollywood as Derrick Favors and Gordon Hayward paced Utah with 14 and 13 points, respectively, off the bench.
"We have to understand how we have to play against a team that's playing physical like they are," Utah coach Tyrone Corbin said.
Al Jefferson had 12 points and both Paul Millsap and Randy Foye contributed 10 apiece in a losing effort.
Utah, which owns an 8-3 record in its last 11 games overall, is in the midst of playing seven of eight games at home and is 14-4 in Salt Lake City this season. The Jazz also have Houston, New Orleans and Portland scheduled to come through EnergySolutions Arena.
The Pacers are in the midst of a four-game road trip where Indiana is 1-1. They earned a great Monday afternoon victory in Memphis against the Grizzlies, then laid an egg in Portland on Wednesday. The Pacers fell to the Trail Blazers, 100-80, to halt Portland's six-game losing streak.
"They came out and played with great desperation," Pacers coach Frank Vogel said of the Blazers. "It's very difficult to come out and play a really good team on a six-game losing streak. They brought the fight to us with their defense. Their defensive energy was great, and their ball movement is something I envy; something that our team needs to get to."
Paul George and David West both played well on Wednesday. George scored 22 points and grabbed seven rebounds, while West had 21 points, five boards and three assists.
The Pacers, the league's best defensive team in terms of both opponents' scoring and field-goal percentage, allowed the Blazers to shoot 56.4 percent from the field.
It wasn't all bad after the Portland loss. George was announced as a reserve for the Eastern Conference All-Star team at the age of 22.
"I'm extremely excited," said George. "Not only will this be my first experience, but (it's) a chance to showcase the team and how much we've grown. Just the adversity that we went through this year and for me to represent this team means the most to me."
The Pacers beat the Jazz, 104-84, in Indianapolis on Dec. 19. Indiana has won three of its last five against the Jazz, but is winless in five straight and 14 of 19 as the visitor in this series.
01/26 10:49:33 ET