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Indianapolis • Tyrone Corbin stood taller. Proudly walking the sideline and barking out orders in a barrel-chested, muscle-armed manner that would make Jerry Sloan proud, Corbin looked every bit the part. And after 16 days of frustration, emptiness and winless nights, Utah's new coach finally put Sloan and the drama that followed his resignation in the past.

Corbin collected the first coaching victory of his career Friday night, as a tough, sharp Utah team punished the Indiana Pacers 95-84 at Conseco Fieldhouse.

"It feels great," said Corbin, who coached four short-handed losses before getting his team back to full strength against the Pacers. "The guys did a great job. It's a great effort. They stayed in for the entire 48 minutes tonight. Can't ask for anything more than that."

Utah ended a nasty five-game losing streak that ran back to Feb. 9 — the night before Sloan resigned. In turn, the Jazz (32-27) showed new life, new talent and new hope.

Before tipoff, Utah decided to make a collective stand. Newly added players Devin Harris and Derrick Favors were in uniform. Former face of the franchise Deron Williams was in San Antonio, playing for New Jersey. And with just 24 games left in the season, the Jazz wanted to prove that their year was not over and a postseason run was still alive.

Now it is.

"We're not out of the playoff race," Utah guard Raja Bell said. "We went out on the court like we could still get in this race. And numbers-wise, if we put some wins together, we could get in there at maybe [the] five, six [position]. It's definitely not over."

Definitely not for Paul Millsap. The bruising power forward performed like a true team captain — the title once belonged to Williams and is now up for grabs — scoring 23 points and pulling down a season-high 18 rebounds.

"I'm trying," Millsap said. "Leadership comes from getting out there and taking care of business. So, you want to do that first before you become the leader. Everybody's just trying to come together and find ourselves right now."

Al Jefferson continued his second-half-of-the-season ascension, pouring in a game-high 30 points and adding nine boards and five blocks.

And then there was that new guy, Harris.

Initially an afterthought in the out-of-nowhere blockbuster trade Wednesday that sent the mercurial Williams packing, Harris did not blink in his Jazz debut. He looked smooth from the start, grabbing five rebounds and scoring four points before the third quarter had begun, despite starting the game on the bench. And as the contest unfolded, Corbin and his new point guard clearly connected.

Utah used a 12-4 run midway through the fourth quarter to erase a game that was tied 67-67 with 10:09 to go. And Harris did not just close out the period — he stayed on the court for the final 12 minutes.

But the game belonged to Corbin, who led the Jazz back to high ground after the team had dropped 14 of 18 games and been engulfed in a Sloan-Williams storm.

Utah's defense was at times an iron net — Indiana scored just 13 points during the first quarter and shot only 34.8 percent from the floor — and as the Jazz outrebounded the Pacers 56-46, it was exactly the type of performance that Corbin has hoped for since he took over for Sloan on Feb. 10.

"This is what we're going to need going forward," Corbin said. "We've got to have the same kind of effort every night."

Twitter: @tribjazz —


R Key stat • Devin Harris records 14 points, seven rebounds and five assists in his Utah debut.

Key moment • The Jazz use a 12-4 run in the fourth quarter to put the Pacers away. —

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