O’Neal leads Pacers over Jazz
Indianapolis, IN (Sports Network) – Jermaine O’Neal scored 27 points and
pulled down 11 rebounds to lead the Indiana Pacers over the Utah Jazz, 93-83,
at Conseco Fieldhouse.
Stephen Jackson and Austin Croshere each contributed 16 points and Sarunas
Jasikevicius chipped in with 11 points for the Pacers, who have won three of
their last four games.
Mehmet Okur had 19 points and 12 rebounds and Andrei Kirilenko contributed 11
points, 10 assists and nine rebounds for the Jazz, who had a two-game winning
The Jazz had a slim 62-61 margin going into the final 12 minutes. However, the
Pacers took the lead for good on their first basket of the quarter.
Croshere hit a three-pointer to spark a 21-7 run capped off by an Anthony
Johnson trey to make the score 82-69 with a little under seven minutes left in
Indiana continued to hit baskets and never let Utah get closer than eight
The Jazz made it an 89-81 game after Okur hit two free throws with 1:31
remaining in the contest.
However, Indiana was able to kill off a good chunk of the clock on its next
possession, running the 24-second clock down to zero and grabbing a rebound
off of a Jackson three-point miss. Utah fouled and Jackson hit both of his
free throws to ice the contest for the Pacers.
“It’s always a struggle when you play Utah,” said Pacers coach Rick Carlisle.
“It’s a war of attrition. If you don’t play hard you get run over like a
steamroller. You have to be very disciplined to play them and beat them.”
The Jazz had an early 6-0 lead as the Pacers did not make their first basket
until the 7:32 mark of the first quarter. However, they found their scoring
touch after O’Neil got them on the scoreboard and the Pacers led 19-18 after
the first 12 minutes.
The contest see-sawed throughout the second quarter. The largest lead
in the second was after O’Neal hit a jumper with a little over six minutes to
play to put Indiana up 30-25.
The scored was tied at 35-35 with under one minute to play, but Jasikevicius
hit a three-pointer and Deron Williams countered with a layup to make the
score 38-37 with Indiana taking a lead into the locker room.
O’Neal led all scorers at the half with 14 points. Okur led the Jazz with nine
Neither team was able to pull ahead in the third quarter with the score
remaining close throughout. Utah had the largest lead of the quarter after
Jarron Collins hit two free throws to give Utah a 62-57 lead with 1:19
“That was a winnable ball game on our part,” said Jazz coach Jerry Sloan. “I
think some guys weren’t ready, when given the opportunity. They beat us off
the dribble too many times tonight. We had it in our hands, if we wouldn’t
have given up on it.”
The Jazz continue their five-game road trip at Milwaukee on Saturday…Indiana
travels to New York for a matchup on Saturday…Indiana has defeated Utah in
the last seven contests…The Pacers committed 19 turnovers and the Jazz had
15 in the game…Utah shot 43 percent in the game and Indiana shot 41 percent.