Running thoughts: Jazz 104, Pacers 84

Here are my running thoughts from the Pacers’ 104-84 loss to the Utah Jazz Wednesday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

  • Jazz rookie Donovan Mitchell received a loud applause during team introductions. Plenty of red in the building — Louisville fans making the two-hour drive north to see Mitchell, who played two seasons for the Cardinals.
  • Pacers owner Herb Simon was in his usual seat adjacent to the Pacers’ bench and beside longtime executive Donnie Walsh. Before taking the court for the first time, Lance went over to the “Bird Cage” and while over there, gave Simon a fist bump.
  • Jazz center Rudy Gobert was T’d up with 5:40 left in the first quarter after being whistled for a foul when he contested a layup by Victor Oladipo.
  • Pacers newcomer Trevor Booker checked in at 2:49 mark and on the first possession, he grabbed an offensive rebound. It took him all of 14 seconds to get involved. His first game with the Pacers was against one of his four former teams. He played two seasons (2014-16) in Utah.
  • And he should be well rested. This was the first game action for the 6-foot-8 power forward in 10 days.
  • Pacers led 8-2 to begin the game, forcing a Jazz timeout, but then relaxed and ultimately was down 32-20 at the end of 1.
  • Jazz shot 51 percent and assisted on 16 of 23 field goals as they led by 10 at halftime. The Pacers failed to make a 3-point field goal, 0 for 8, in the first half and were outscored by 21 points beyond the arc.
  • Cory Joseph finally broke through with 7:45 left in the third quarter after the Pacers missed their first 12 3-point attempts.
  • Lance Stephenson has to do a better job keeping his emotions in check. I know, I know. He was given a technical foul after an offensive foul, his team-high seventh of the season.
  • Earlier in the day, the league announced that they had assessed Stephenson with a Flagrant-1 foul for intentionally tripping Milwaukee center John Henson Monday night.
  • It was a rough game overall for the Pacers, but especially on the offensive end. The Jazz are a strong defensive team with Rudy Gobert hogging the paint. And when 3-balls aren’t dropping and bunnies are missed at the rim, you’re in for a long night.
  • With the big deficit, Alex Poythress played for the first time in six games.
  • Final tally from distance: Pacers 3 for 23 … just one make better than their home loss to Miami … Jazz 11 for 31. That’s 24 points!
  • Nate McMillan: “I don’t think we got clear looks. We were playing against a set defense all night long. They established their tempo, the game was at their tempo, and basically we couldn’t get any stops to get out and get easy opportunities.”
  • Myles Turner was the only Pacer with a strong night offensively. He had 24 points on 10-of-14 shooting. The rest of the team shot a combined 34 percent. Oladipo, who had 13 points, looked gassed but still managed to record seven assists and five steals.
  • Turner: “For us to be the team that we want to be, I’ve got to shoot more than five times in a game. I just kind of analyzed some film and saw where I needed to be and picked and chose my spots very well tonight.”
  • McMillan on Oladipo and whether he needs to get him rest: “No. I don’t think he’s fatigued. He’s seeing a lot more pressure. These defenders are being more physical with him and they’re making him work to get everything. We’re not getting anything easy in transition.”
  • Still, the Pacers have won 11 of 14 home games in 2018.
  • It’s the Jazz’s (35-30) fourth straight win and ninth in a row over an Eastern Conference opponent.
  • It’s also their ninth straight road win, matching the franchise’s longest win streak on the road since 1998.
  • The Pacers, snapping a three-game win streak, were held to 84 points so the Jazz improve to 23-5 when holding their opponent below the century mark.
  • Up next: The Pacers (37-28) complete their three-game homestand against the Atlanta Hawks Friday night. The Hawks have lost six of their previous eight games and have the worst record in the Eastern Conference (20-45).

Yep, it was that kind of night for the Blue & Gold.

Never seen this done before. Well done. Good – if used occasionally. Donovan Mitchell had 10 points in the first quarter.

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