INDIANAPOLIS — If an editor asked for a headline to describe this Midwestern road trip for Utah, it might read something like this: “How the Jazz lost the No. 4 seed in the West.”

Though Utah still remains in the top four of the Western Conference, the Jazz didn’t do themselves any favors while away from home for the past week.

In their latest disappointing effort, the Jazz squandered career-high games by Gordon Hayward and Rudy Gobert en route to suffering a 107-100 loss to the Indiana Pacers.

They also have a rough stretch to finish the season, so going 1-3 on a road trip could be quite detrimental to their home-court advantage hopes.

Brownsburg, Indiana, hero Hayward scored 38 points, besting his previous career-high of 37 in front of an appreciative Indiana crowd at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, and Gobert blocked a career-high eight shots to go with 16 points and 14 rebounds in the team’s third-straight loss.

Those individual efforts went for naught, though, after the Jazz (43-28) fell behind by 13 points early and then just couldn’t quite pull off a comeback late in the fourth quarter.

“I would absolutely prefer to win the game. I’d rather have zero points and win the game,” Hayward said. “Offense wasn’t our problem tonight, we couldn’t get stops for some reason.”

Jeff Teague, whom the Pacers acquired in the three-way trade that sent George Hill to Utah last offseason, led an Indiana squad that’s fighting for a playoff spot with 21 points.

Paul George only had four points through three quarters, but he finished with 19 points, including a dagger of a jumper over Hayward that gave Indiana a five-point lead with 18.9 seconds remaining.

The Pacers (36-34) led by 11 points with just over three minutes remaining, but Utah made one final push after Joe Ingles hit a three …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Sports News

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