Clarkson, Markkanen lead Jazz past Pacers 123-117
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Jordan Clarkson and Lauri Markkanen each scored 29 points and the Utah Jazz beat the Indiana Pacers 123-117 on Monday night.
Clarkson hit a 3-pointer for a 115-110 lead with 2:03 remaining, and added a 13-foot baseline jumper to extend the lead to 117-113 in the final minute.
“Jordan was in the zone tonight,” Jazz coach Will Hardy said. “I wish I could take credit for any of that. We just try to make sure in those moments when he has that going that we’re executing from a spacing standpoint as a team, making sure we give him enough space to operate when he gets in those grooves. He’s incredibly capable of getting as hot as anybody in the league.”
Clarkson scored 22 in the second half and finished with six 3-pointers.
“I know when my shots are there, what shots I can get to in a game, and I’m very confident that I’ll make those,” Clarkson said. “At the end of the game, (coach) called everybody off, so I knew what to go to. Baseline jump shot, tough shot, but I knocked it in.”
Markkanen sealed the win with four free throws in the final 14.2 seconds. He hit 10 of 20 shots and had 11 rebounds for the Jazz, who had lost four of their last five games.
The Pacers, who rallied from a 12-point deficit to within two with 3:06 remaining, have lost five in a row and 16 of 18.
Clarkson and Tyrese Haliburton dueled in the third quarter. Haliburton scored 13 points, while Clarkson had four 3-pointers and 15 points to help the Jazz to an 89-88 lead heading into the final quarter.
“I’m cool with Tyrese, he’s good people,” Clarkson said. “It’s good to see him come into his own, being an All-Star this year. He works out with the same people I have worked out with forever. He’s just a good kid, really talented. I talk to him, give him (crap) during the game, just having fun.”
Haliburton finished with 30 points and 12 assists. Bennedict Mathurin scored 21 and Aaron Nesmith 19 for Indiana.
“There was high-level shot-making down the stretch,” Haliburton was quoted as saying by The Indianapolis Star. “I thought Jordan made some tough shots down the end there. They got to the free throw line and the start of that fourth really hurt us. I think they attacked us in different ways. Obviously Lauri and Jordan both had good games. I don’t know what they did specifically, I gotta watch film, but they did a good job of getting their guys going.”
Kelly Olynyk had four 3-pointers and 18 points with 10 rebounds for the Jazz. Collin Sexton also had 18.
Jazz: Are 2-1 since trading veteran point guard Mike Conley to Minnesota and have averaged 121.6 points, four more than the seasonal average. … Had an eight-point advantage at the line with 22-of-25 shooting.
Pacers: Center Myles Turner (lower back soreness) was inactive. He’s averaging a career-high 17.6 points and 7.9 rebounds. … Mathurin became the fourth rookie in team history to score 1,000 points.
Jazz: Visit Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday.
Pacers: Host Chicago Bulls on Wednesday.
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