Indiana outpaces Utah

Boozer-less Jazz drop seventh game in a row

Posted: Thursday, March 17, 2005

INDIANAPOLIS - Stephen Jackson kept finding himself with open looks. And though he wasn't connecting with any regularity, he kept shooting.

When he was done, Jackson had scored 28 points and the Pacers had hit 37 of 43 free throws to beat the fading Utah Jazz 103-84 Wednesday night.

Utah outshot Indiana from the field, but the Pacers spent much of the night at the free throw line. Jackson shot just 6-of-16 from the field, but was 4-of-8 from 3-point range and 12-of-12 on free throws.

"Tonight, my teammates set blocks and screens, and I was able to come off of them and make some shots," Jackson said. "We also outrebounded them, which means we got a lot of second shots. We must sustain this play for the rest of the season."

Reggie Miller scored 15 points and Anthony Johnson 12 for Indiana. Mehmet Okur scored 16 points and Andrei Kirilenko 15 for Utah. The Jazz have lost seven straight.

"It's like an avalanche," Kirilenko said. "You can't stop it. The only thing we can try to do is come out and play hard every night, but it's not happening."

The Pacers hit all eight of their free throws in the first quarter, went 9-for-10 in the second period, 10-of-11 in the third and 10-of-14 in the fourth.

Dale Davis grabbed 12 rebounds and Jeff Foster 11 as Indiana outrebounded Utah 44-27.

"Against this team, you have to outrebound them," said Pacers coach Rick Carlisle. "Holding them to three second-chance points was probably the key to the game. The presence he (Davis) gives us on the inside makes a difference, especially in the absence of Jermaine O'Neal."

O'Neal is sidelined indefinitely after injuring his right shoulder at Denver on March 3.

Indiana never trailed after putting together a 7-0 run over a 1:46 span of the first quarter.

Gordan Giricek fueled an 11-5 run in the second quarter as Utah closed to 39-35 with 2:46 to go before intermission, but Davis hit a free throw, Miller made a jumper from the free throw line, and Jackson added two free throws for a 44-37 halftime lead.

Miller scored six points and Jackson four in a 10-0 run that pushed the lead to 63-45 midway through the third quarter. Utah did not respond, much to the dismay of coach Jerry Sloan.

"Some of the guys still play hard, but some sometimes don't," he said. "We're struggling right now in so many areas, it really makes it tough."

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