Friday, Dec. 2 at 9:00 PM ET at Vivint Arena
In game four of their seven-game road trip, another slow start doomed the Indiana Pacers.
The Pacers (12-10) trailed the Utah Jazz (14-11) by 16 points at Halftime and by as many as 22 points in the third quarter in a 139-119 loss at Vivint Arena on Friday.
Indiana is 7-9 when trailing at the half this season, including 3-6 on the road during those games. The 139 points are the most given up in a single game by the Blue & Gold this season.
Six Jazz players finished in double-digit scoring, led by 24 points by 7-foot forward Lauri Markkanen who also pulled down 13 rebounds. Walker Kessler, a 7-foot rookie, had 20 points and 11 rebounds off the bench for the Jazz.
Seven players scored at least 10 points for the Pacers. The team is now 9-1 when six or more players score in double digits.
Pacers center Myles Turner topped the visitors’ box score with 18 points and Jalen Smith and Tyrese Haliburton each scored 14. Rookie Andrew Nembhard recorded his first NBA double-double with 13 points and a career-high 10 assists for the Pacers.
For the 17th time this season, the Pacers trailed at the end of the first quarter.
Utah led by as many as 14 points in the opening frame, knocking down seven 3-pointers, as it took an early 35-24 lead.
Markkanen came out on fire for Utah, scoring nine quick points by making four of his first five shots, as the Jazz led 15-11 with 6:15 on the clock.
A 10-0 Jazz streak, behind 3-pointers from Malik Beasley and Kelly Olynyk and four points from Collin Sexton, pushed the Jazz lead to 23-11 by the 4:41-mark before free throws by Pacers rookie Bennedict Mathurin stopped the bleeding .
Utah then used a 9-2 scoring spree on treys from Simone Fontecchio, Markkanen and Beasley to extend the Jazz lead to 35-21 with a minute remaining.
The Jazz shot 14-for-23 in the opening quarter, including 7-for-12 from 3-point range. Indiana shot 8-for-18 and missed all four of its attempts from beyond the arc.
Indiana battled back to tie the game in the second quarter before the Jazz finished strong, outscoring the visitors 25-11 in the final four minutes of the half.
The Jazz led 42-36 three minutes into the second quarter before the Pacers went on an 11-2 run thanks to the offense of a rookie and a vet, as two 3-pointers from Turner and five points by Nembhard cut the deficit to 43 -37 with 7:41 before intermission.
Indiana continued chipping away until back-to-back 3-pointers from Haliburton, an and-one and layup from Jalen Smith and free throws by Mathurin tied it at 54.
After a 13-3 run by the Blue & Gold, the Jazz responded with a 17-0 run with 44 seconds left before a Haliburton layup ended the streak.
In the last four minutes of the half, the Pacers were outscored 25-11.
At the break, the Jazz led 75-59.
Five players had at least 10 points for the Jazz at half, led by 16 from Markkanen. Turner topped the Pacers with 14 points.
The Jazz, who averaged 14 made 3-pointers per game, made 9 of 17 Threes and shot 63 percent overall from the field. Indiana has made 20 of 46 shot attempts, including 5-for-29 from 3-point range.
Jordan Clarkson, the 2021 NBA Sixth Man of the Year, scored the first two buckets of the second half before the Pacers strung together a 13-2 run on five points from Buddy Hield and four from Turner to narrow it to 81-71 by the Midway point of the third quarter.
From 5:32 to 3:12 in the third quarter, however, the Jazz scored nine unanswered points to boost its lead to 93-74.
Utah led by 22 points with 35 ticks on the clock and held a 101-81 going into the fourth quarter.
The Jazz were able to maintain a 20+ point lead Midway through the fourth quarter, going up by as many as 26, and Pacers Coach Rick Carlisle emptied the bench in the Waning minutes.
Utah shot 55.4 percent from the field and made 15 of 34 3-pointers. The Pacers shot 43.5 percent overall while going 12-for-34 from deep.
The Jazz dominated the paint, outscoring the Pacers 60-46 and outrebounding the visitors 47-35.
In the loss, Haliburton’s franchise-record streak of seven straight games with 10 or more assists was snapped, as he finished with four dimes.
Indiana will play at the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday before traveling to the Golden State Warriors in a Monday night matchup.