This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Indianapolis • They had blown leads before. They had been blown out. The Utah Jazz this season had been bad. Woeful even.
But Wednesday night brought out all new kinds of inept.
The Jazz lost 104-84 to the Pacers in an adjective-defying effort, spoiling Gordon Hayward's third career game in his hometown.
Hayward scored eight points, which on this night for the Jazz accounted for a reasonable percentage of the Jazz's total. Derrick Favors led the Jazz with 14 points and nine rebounds, while the starting frontcourt of Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap combined for just 11 points.
Hayward watched dejectedly from the bench as time wound down, along with the rest of the Jazz regulars. And why not let the end-of-the bench unit play? They couldn't have been any worse than the first-choice players, who managed just three field goals and eight points in the second quarter, allowing Indiana to build a 22-point halftime lead.
Their 31 points at the half was the worst half of the season for the Jazz. In fact, they had scored as many or more points in 12 quarters this year.
At one timeout in the second quarter, coach Tyrone Corbin was the last person off the bench. He took a moment to himself, massaging his eyelids.
The Jazz led 11-6 in the first quarter before the Pacers went on an 18-4 run. In the second quarter, reigning Eastern Conference Player of the Week Paul George at one point scored eight straight points to turn a 33-26 game into a 41-28 Indiana advantage.
Gerald Green led the Pacers with 21 points off the bench, including an emphatic tomahawk dunk over Earl Watson in the fourth quarter.