Pacers beat Jazz 97-86 to end 6-game skid
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) With three starters out with injuries, Roy Hibbert knows the Indiana Pacers are relying on him each night. He also had some help Monday night.
Hibbert scored a season-high 29 points to help Indiana beat the Utah Jazz 97-86 Monday night, ending the Pacers' six-game losing streak.
A.J. Price had 22 points and Lavoy Allen added 12 - also season highs for both players - as the Pacers won for the first time since the season opener. Allen also had 15 rebounds and Hibbert grabbed five.
''I was just trying to be aggressive, my teammates found me in spots and I tried to establish myself early,'' Hibbert said. ''Lavoy played and awesome game and A.J. was the reason why we won this game.''
Price, playing on a 10-day contract with the Pacers granted a roster exemption due to their injuries, scored 10 points in the fourth quarter, including two 3-pointers during a 13-2 run that gave Indiana an 87-79 lead midway through the period.
''I'm playing for my life,'' Price said. ''That's what it's been for the couple years for me. I am staying until they tell me to go. I'm going to keep playing as hard as I can.''
Solomon Hill added 13 points for the Pacers, and his dunk on Indiana native and former Butler star Gordon Hayward in the third quarter may have been the turning point for Indiana.
The Pacers were trailing 60-57 with a little more than 5 minutes left in the third when Hill drove to the rim.
''It was just being aggressive,'' Hill said. ''I feel like they don't have too much depth at the wing spot so you have to attack the guys that are out there. You want to get him (Hayward) tired, you want to wear him out. He can't be a guy off a back-to-back that plays 40-plus minutes.''
Hayward scored 30 points to lead Utah. Enes Kanter had 18 points and Derrick Favors added 13 points and eight rebounds.
''Hibbert was a monster tonight,'' Hayward said.
Indiana played without injured starters David West (sprained ankle), George Hill (bruised knee) and Paul George (leg).
Hayward scored 13 points in the third quarter as the Jazz use a 19-4 run to take a 60-53 lead midway through the period.
The Pacers clamped down in the fourth quarter, holding Hayward to four points while outscoring the Jazz 25-17 in the period.
All six of Indiana's losses during it skid was by 10 points or fewer and the last four defeats were all two possession games, including an overtime loss at Washington.
''I look at us as a young team just because everybody is new to their role, any kind of success can be a confidence builder,'' Pacers coach Frank Vogel said. ''Build on the things we are doing well. Just understand that we can be better and correct the things we are not doing well enough.''
Jazz: Former Indiana prep standout and Butler star Gordon Hayward returned home Monday. Hayward handed out roughly 50 tickets to Monday's game. ''Anytime you get to come back (home) and get a chance to have people you grew up with come watch you play is pretty special,'' Hayward said.
Pacers: Price's 22-point effort against the Jazz makes him a valuable piece to the Indiana picture right now.
Indiana's seven turnovers were a season-low. The Pacers did not commit a turnover in the first quarter, their first 12-minute stretch of the season without a giveaway.
Pacers: At Miami on Wednesday.
Jazz: At Atlanta on Wednesday.