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News » Pacers-Jazz Preview 2009-12-03

Pacers-Jazz Preview 2009-12-03

Pacers-Jazz Preview 2009-12-03With three straight victories and coach Jerry Sloan signed on for another season, the Utah Jazz must be happy with the way things are going.

The Indiana Pacers, meanwhile, wish their fortune would change.

Utah looks to close its homestand with a fourth consecutive victory Friday when it faces a Pacers team struggling on its western swing.

The Jazz (10-7) improved to 4-1 on the homestand with Monday's 120-93 victory over Memphis. Utah shot 58.4 percent from the field, including 7 of 14 from 3-point range, to move three games above .500 for the first time this season.

"That's what we're supposed to do," Ronnie Brewer said after hitting 11 of 16 shots for a season-high 25 points. "We're so talented. We've got so many guys who can do so many things, there's no reason why we shouldn't play like we have the last three games."

The Jazz have won six of seven, allowing an average of 90.3 points in those victories.

"On the defensive side, we're doing a great job of finishing," Carlos Boozer said.

Utah also is doing a good job distributing the ball, averaging 31.0 assists during the three-game win streak.

"We're trying to share the basketball. When you do that, you get better shots," Sloan said.

Sloan, in his 22nd season coaching the Jazz, agreed to a one-year extension Wednesday that will keep him with the team through at least 2010-11.

"I am very appreciative of the opportunity the Miller family has given me, and the fact that they have stood behind me for more than 20 years," Sloan told the Jazz's official Web site. "Our team has tremendous potential and I look forward to watching them grow."

Indiana (6-10) has not been progressing in such fashion, losing its third straight and seventh in eight games Wednesday - 110-105 to Sacramento.

Even with a revamped lineup that had Dahntay Jones in Brandon Rush's guard spot and Roy Hibbert back at center after coming off the bench Monday at Golden State, the Pacers weren't able to improve defensively, giving up at least 110 points for the third consecutive game.

"(The Kings) made shots and we stopped challenging shots," coach Jim O'Brien told the Pacers' official Web site. "When we don't challenge shots, they put the ball in the basket. It's tough to get the tempo up when we always have to take the ball out of bounds."

After holding opponents to an average of 97.9 points during its 5-3 start, Indiana is giving up 108.0 per game during its 1-7 skid.

One bright spot Wednesday was leading scorer Danny Granger hitting six 3-pointers and scoring 13 of his 33 points in the fourth quarter. He was coming off two subpar outings, going 4 of 15 from 3-point range, since sitting out last Wednesday's victory over the Los Angeles Clippers with a sprained knee ligament.

The All-Star forward had a torn tendon in his right foot and missed Indiana's last matchup with Utah - a 112-100 home loss March 10.

Granger had 30 points and seven assists in a 120-113 defeat in Utah on Jan. 12.

Jazz center Mehmet Okur scored a career-high 43 points in that matchup while Deron Williams and Andrei Kirilenko added 23 apiece.

Indiana has lost three straight in this series and three in a row at Salt Lake City.

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Author: Fox Sports
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Added: December 3, 2009


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