SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Utah Jazz needed players to step up in their 119-111 win over the Indiana Pacers on Friday afternoon and that’s exactly what happened.
Donovan Mitchell left the game early in the third quarter with an ankle sprain and didn’t return. That’s when Mike Conley, Rudy Gobert and company took over.
After allowing 69 points in the first half, the Jazz put the clamps down in the second half, limiting the Pacers to just 42 points. Bojan Bogdanovic scored 24 points to lead the Jazz. Rudy Gobert added 13 points, 23 rebounds and 4 blocks. Jordan Clarkson chipped in 18 points off the bench.
Domantas Sabonis led the Pacers with 22 points, 15 rebounds and 7 assists. Caris LeVert scored 24 points and Malcolm Brogdon finished with 16 points.
Jazz Dig Deep First Half Hole With Poor Play Against Pacers
It wasn’t a great showing for the Jazz in the first half with new minority owner Dwyane Wade sitting courtside with majority owner Ryan Smith after the big announcement on Friday morning. Indiana came out motivated and took a 32-24 lead at the end of the first quarter.
The Jazz battled back late in the second quarter after trailing by nearly 20 points and cut the Pacers’ advantage to nine with one minute left until halftime. Donovan Mitchell single-handedly brought them back by scoring 10 straight points for the Jazz. Indiana stopped a Jazz 7-0 run for a moment before Mitchell scored again to keep them within seven points. Malcolm Brogdon hit a three-pointer with six seconds left to put them up by 10 points. Caris LeVert stole the inbound pass and nailed a corner three to put the Pacers up by 13 at the half. They outscored the Jazz 37-32 in the second quarter and was up 69-56.
Domantas Sabonis had 15 points and 7 rebounds to lead the Pacers. Brogdon added 14 points and 4 boards, while LeVert had 11 at the break. Mitchell was the only Jazz player to reach double figures in the first half with 17.
Utah Takes Over Second Half To Beat Pacers After Mitchell Injury
Just under four minutes into the third quarter, Donovan Mitchell fell to the ground after falling over a Pacers player chasing a loose ball. He had to be helped off the floor by the trainer and a teammate, while not putting any weight on his right leg/foot. Mitchell finished the game with 22 points, 4 rebounds and 2 assists, while shooting 7-of-15 from the field, 3-for-7 from the three-point line and 5-of-5 from the free throw line in 21 minutes on the floor. He was later ruled out with an ankle sprain.
The severity of the injury was unknown but other players stepped up immediately after Mitchell exited the game. Mike Conley led the charge. Utah outscored the Pacers 33-20 in the third quarter and the game was tied going into the fourth quarter. Seven players scored in the third quarter for the Jazz. Mitchell had five points before the injury, leaving the others to score 28 points in his absence in the third.
Utah kept riding the momentum as guys were hitting big shots. The Jazz jumped out to a 17-10 run to start the fourth quarter. Their defense kept the clamps down on the Pacers and was able to cruise to the win.
The Jazz improved their record to 42-14 on the season. They will begin a three-game road trip with back-to-back games against the Los Angeles Lakers. The first game will be on Saturday, April 17 at 2:30 p.m. MDT on ESPN.