Gobert lifts Jazz over Pacers; Utah 15-2 over past 17 games
Utah Jazz's Rudy Gobert looks for a shot as Indiana Pacers' Domantas Sabonis defends during the second half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, March 7, 2018, in Indianapolis. Utah won 104-84. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
By Corey Elliot, Associated Press
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Rudy Gobert had 23 points and 14 rebounds, Donovan Mitchell finished with 20 points and six assists, and the Utah Jazz stayed hot with a 104-84 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday night (Thursday, PHL time).
The Jazz improved to 15-2 over their last 17 games. Ricky Rubio finished with 18 points and seven assists for Utah, and reserve Jae Crowder added 16 points. Joe Ingles had 11 points and 10 assists.
Utah out-scored Indiana 28-12 over the final eight minutes of the first quarter and led 54-44 at halftime. Indiana pulled within single digits a couple of times in the third, but Utah was too much on a night when the Pacers shot 38.6 percent from the floor.
Utah shot 51 percent from the floor and had 30 assists on 51 baskets, while Indiana had just 12 assists.
The Pacers had won three straight. The lone bright spot for Indiana on offense was Myles Turner, who finished with 24 points. Bojan Bogdanovic and Victor Oladipo each scored 13 points, and Cory Joseph had 12 points and six rebounds.
Standout rookie Mitchell was met by a large crowd of University of Louisville fans near the tunnel as he walked off the floor.
TOUGH ROAD AHEAD
At 37-28, Indiana is far ahead of where many expected the team to be in March. While the Pacers are almost locked into the Eastern Conference playoff picture, their seeding is less certain. The Pacers are on Cleveland's heels for the third playoff spot, but after a matchup with Atlanta on Friday night (Saturday, PHL time), Indiana's next four games will be against current Eastern Conference playoff teams, with two of those contests on the road.
Indiana: Bogdanovic has scored in double figures in 14 straight games. It is the longest such streak of his career. ... Indiana is 11-11 against the Western Conference.
Utah: The Jazz have won nine straight road games. ... This was Utah's 21st win of the season against teams above .500.
Utah: Visits Memphis on Friday night (Saturday, PHL time).
Indiana: Hosts Atlanta on Friday night (Saturday, PHL time).