The Indiana Pacers have essentially locked up a playoff spot, but every game left in the regular season is still vitally important. They are fighting with five other teams for the right to host a first round playoff series, and all of these teams are only separated by three games in the standings. Home-court advantage is going to be huge in the playoffs because every team in the Eastern Conference is very talented. Indiana’s quest for home-court advantage took a big hit when they got embarrassed at home by the Utah Jazz yesterday.
Indiana entered their game with the Jazz on a four-game winning streak, but Utah was also one of the hottest teams in the league. They played a close game for most of the first quarter, but the Jazz went on a big run in the final five minutes to get a 12-point lead. The Pacers struggled with their shooting throughout the second quarter, but they stopped Utah from extending the lead by playing solid defense. Utah ultimately went into the halftime break with a 10-point lead.
Indiana’s shooting troubles did not get any better in the second half. They needed to overcome a 10-point deficit in the final 12 minutes, but they could not create any offense. After only scoring 15 points in the fourth quarter, the Pacers fell to the Utah Jazz 104-84. The Pacers will look to start another long winning streak when they return to action on Friday, March 9, against the Atlanta Hawks.