Utah Jazz blown out by Indiana Pacers, 104-84
Indianapolis • The clock dictated a timeout, and Jazz players slowly rose from the bench to slap hands and encourage their teammates coming off the floor. But Tyrone Corbin remained seated.
The coach's right elbow drilled into his right thigh as he slowly massaged his eyelids.
It was only the second quarter. The Jazz were down nine points. If only Corbin knew what his team still had ahead of it.
The Jazz at times have been bad this season. They have blown leads and been blown out. But Wednesday's 104-84 loss to the Indiana Pacers defied adjectives as well as logic. The Jazz scored seven points on three made baskets in the second quarter, shot 37 percent overall and, generally speaking, could have been outperformed by one of those youth teams that serves as halftime entertainment at EnergySolutions Arena.
Speaking of the children, don't let them read this part:
"[The Pacers] came out and just kicked our ass," Al Jefferson said.
What superlative do you want? You want to know that the Jazz's halftime deficit, 22 points, tied their biggest hole of the season? Or that it took only 7 minutes into the second half to increase that mark to 32 points?
Here's one: The Jazz scored 31 points in the first half, a figure they reached in 12 separate quarters before Wednesday's debacle.
It was the rare night the Jazz were completely outmatched inside, getting outscored 28-2 in points in the paint in the first half. Those two points were courtesy of 6-foot-1 point guard Mo Williams. Meanwhile, the Pacers had their way inside as small forwards Gerald Green (21 points) and Paul George (20 points) spent their night slashing to the basket and dunking over the Jazz.
Asked where the Jazz go from such a dreadful night, Corbin quipped, "We go to Miami."
You know there's trouble when, on a night your team lost by 20 points, the silver lining is that your next game is on the road against the defending champions.
The Jazz won 92-90 in Brooklyn on Tuesday night and rode the momentum that comes with defeating Deron Williams to an 11-6 lead in the first quarter. Then the Jazz sputtered. And gasped.
After going up by five points early, the Jazz watched the Pacers go on an 18-4 run, giving the 13,559 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse something to cheer about.
It's worth clarifying that the "something" wasn't Gordon Hayward. In his third career game against the Pacers in Indianapolis, Hayward from nearby Brownsburg was held to a season-low 13 minutes. With Butler coach Brad Stevens and former Bulldogs teammate Ronald Nored in attendance, Hayward scored eight points on 2-of-6 shooting and committed five turnovers.
"You want to come home and play well for your friends and that stuff," Hayward said. "Unfortunately, tonight we didn't do that."
But Hayward's performance, astonishingly, wasn't all that bad in the spectrum of ineptitude for the Jazz.
Derrick Favors led the Jazz with 16 points, nine rebounds and three blocked shots, including an emphatic rejection on a dunk attempt by Roy Hibbert.
But after Favors, things went downhill quickly, all the way to a deficient Jefferson, who managed just four points on 1-of-8 shooting.
"Once I get 0 for 5, 0 for 6," Jefferson said, "my mind just kind of goes. Just wasn't making shots."
To their credit, the Jazz weren't panicking after losing their 11th road game in 16 tries.
"We just didn't have it," Corbin said, "we didn't make shots. You can't go and overreact to it."
It raises the question of what the appropriate reaction to the team's worst loss of the season would be, but Corbin continued.
"It's a bad game for us," he said. "We're disappointed in our performance, but it's one game. We didn't play our best basketball. We have to make sure we're ready to go the rest of the trip."
O The Jazz fall to 5-11 on the road, with games at Miami and Orlando before they return home.
• Derrick Favors leads the Jazz with 16 points, while Alec Burks scores 12 points off the bench.
• Gerald Green leads the Pacers with 21 points.
More coverage • Homecomings not so sweet for Jazz. > D4 Utah 23 8 20 33 84Indiana 31 22 23 28 104Attendance Â» 13,559 Time Â» 2:05. Officials Â» James Capers, Brent Barnaky, Dick Bavetta.
See more about comments here.