INDIANAPOLIS — A mighty rally by the Jazz against the Indiana Pacers fell just short Tuesday night in a 104-99 loss in Indianapolis. Six players scored in double figures for Utah (13-11) as guard Darren Collison scored 25 points for Indiana (17-7).
GUARDS: While Devin Harris gave a solid 11-point effort in 26 minutes, Earl Watson scored no points while turning the ball over three times, though he did tally seven assists. Harris' miscues were part of a 16-turnover evening. Neither Utah guard could slow Collision, who also tallied five assists and four rebounds in 36 minutes. Though Raja Bell and C.J. Miles combined for 19 points, their defensive efforts were futile late in the game when Indiana's Paul George provided a late spark. Grade: C-
FORWARDS: Gordon Hayward, the hometown hero, gave a solid performance in his return home, scoring 11 points while tallying three assists and three rebounds. Indiana's Danny Granger matched the effort with 16 points and five rebounds. Paul Millsap outplayed David West, notching a double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds while going perfect (8-8) from the charity stripe. Grade: B+
CENTERS: Al Jefferson provided more hinderance than assistance on the offensive side. The offense often seemed to stall when the ball was in his hands as the Mississippi native went 6-17 from the floor while committing three turnovers. His 16 points and eight rebounds were matched by Roy Hibbert's 17 and 10 for the Pacers, though Hibbert shot 7-13. Grade: D+
BENCH: Jazz reserves outscored Indiana's bench 36-24, led by Miles' 12 and Derrick Favor's 10 points and five rebounds in 17 minutes. However, the second-year big man did turn the ball over three times. Enes Kanter had as many rebounds (6) as he did points in 16 minutes of play. He has challenged Jefferson's ferocity on the boards in recent games while playing less than half the minutes. Grade: B+
OVERALL: While Utah's second-half run indicated the club might have some mettle on the road, it didn't prevent Utah from falling to 2-7 away from Energy Solutions Arena this season. It would be interesting to see what Millsap would do in the paint at both ends of the court if he possessed the few inches Jefferson has on him. Harris and Watson need to show a better aptitude for defending speedy, young guards, something they clearly haven't done in consecutive games against New York's Jeremy Lin and Collison. Grade: C+
Rhett Wilkinson is a journalism and speech communications major at Utah State University. He has previously been an intern for the Deseret News. He can be reached at email@example.com or at Twitter: wilklogan