- Both the Utah Jazz and Indiana Pacers are licking their wounds coming into tonight’s game. The Jazz were blasted by the Los Angeles Lakers, 102-84, in L.A. last night. Indiana, meanwhile, lost at Portland, 100-80, on Wednesday in the third game of a four-game road trip. It was the first time in 12 games that the Pacers allowed more than 100 points, and they’re looking to get back to playing the type of defense that has them at second in the league in allowing 89.3 points per game. “We just got to do what we do better,” said Indiana coach Frank Vogel. “Sometimes you have to tip your hat to the opponent and just get back to doing what you do.”
- The Pacers handled the Jazz, 104-84, when they played in Indiana last month. Vogel expects a much different game this time with Utah playing in its home arena. The Pacers are without Gerald Green, who had a season-high 21 points and four 3-pointers in Indiana’s earlier win over Utah. Green is inactive tonight. “It happens to all of us throughout the NBA season,” Vogel said of how the Jazz were blown out by the Pacers. “They were flat. It’s certainly going to be a different story tonight. We expect a great effort by them.”
- Utah will need an improved effort from Al Jefferson tonight. The Jazz’s leading scorer had just four points on 1-for-8 shooting against the Pacers earlier this season. He had 12 points on 5-for-14 shooting against the Lakers last night, and was a liability in pick-and-roll defense. The Jazz will give him every opportunity to get going tonight. “We’re going to go inside,” said Utah coach Tyrone Corbin. “We got to get the ball in his hands, get him to his spots down low.”
- Indiana is looking to win in Utah for the first time sine 2005. The Jazz, however, are solid at home and against Eastern Conference opponents. They’re 13-1 in their last 14 home games against Eastern Conference teams.