Indiana At Utah
When: 9:00 PM
ET, Saturday, January 21, 2017
Where: Vivint Smart Home Arena, Salt Lake City, Utah
Rudy Gobert is dominating games and the potential first-time All-Star looks to help the Utah Jazz extend their season-best winning streak to six games when they host the Indiana Pacers on Friday. Gobert posted career highs of 27 points and 25 rebounds in Friday's 112-107 overtime victory over the Dallas Mavericks for his 30th double-double of the campaign.
Gobert has reached double digits on the boards in 29 consecutive games and his emergence is part of the reason why soaring Utah is 12 games above .500 and headed for a near-certain Western Conference playoff spot. "He's a competitor and he wants to win," small forward Gordon Hayward said afterward. "That's what I love about Rudy is that he is trying to win basketball games and he doesn't like to lose. He's got a fire inside of him and it's definitely something you can feel when you're out there." Indiana isn't a good road team and dropped to 6-15 in enemy venues when it suffered a 108-96 setback against the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday. The loss was only the second in the past nine overall games for the Pacers, who will play 10 of their next 15 at home after concluding a three-game road swing at Utah.
TV: 9 p.m. ET, FSN Indiana, ROOT (Utah)
ABOUT THE PACERS (22-20): Indiana opened its road swing with a 106-100 victory over the Sacramento Kings, stunningly recovering from a 22-point deficit to record the victory. With the Eastern Conference bunched up and 13 of the 15 teams able to make a viable claim to being part of the playoff race, the Pacers know they need to drastically improve their road performance. "We know we haven't had a lot of success on the road," Indiana coach Nate McMillan told reporters. "There was an emphasis on trying to get that first road win, which was Sacramento. We dug ourselves a hole in that game, but fought our way out of that hole and were able to get that game."
ABOUT THE JAZZ (28-16): Hayward also is vying to make the All-Star team for the first time in his career and scored 26 points against Dallas for his 27th 20-point outing of the campaign. Seven of the 20-point efforts have come in January but Hayward is enjoying winning much more than discussing his personal exploits or All-Star odds. Point guard George Hill has strung together seven straight double-digit scoring efforts and he figures to be highly motivated against the Pacers, the team he played for the last five seasons before being dealt to Utah in the offseason.
1. The Jazz won both of last season's meetings after the Pacers won six of the previous seven.
2. Indiana C Al Jefferson scored a season-best 20 points for the second straight game and is 16-of-27 during the stretch.
3. Utah swingman Joe Johnson is 12-of-20 from the field while scoring 15 points in each of the past two games.
PREDICTION: Jazz 105, Pacers 101
Stats and Records
Utah Off vs
99.5 Points For
106.6 Points Against