Josh McRoberts led four Indiana Pacers in double-figure scoring with 21 points on an eye-popping 100.9% True Shooting, helping Indy down the Utah Jazz, 83-74. McRoberts added three rebounds and four assists, again demonstrating excellent court awareness for a center. Second-round draft pick Lance Stephenson continued to have his way, scoring 19 points on seven-of-10 shooting. The most encouraging sign, for Indiana? Lottery selection Paul George had his first good game this week, tallying 15 points and a game-high nine rebounds; he shot only seven-of-22 in the first two games. The Pacers improved to 2-1 despite letting Utah go on a 27-9 run that bridged the third and fourth quarters, trimming what had been a 24-point deficit to merely six.
Second-year center Kosta Koufos was the only Jazz player to impress, yet they still gave Indiana a bit of a scare after that run. Koufos scored 19 points and grabbed six rebounds, shooting an impressive seven-of-10 from the floor. Through the first two days, Koufos had gotten more of his buckets as a jump-shooter or putback artist, but tonight he got more chances with his back to the basket. He capitalized on them. But Othyus Jeffers, Sundiata Gaines, Gordon Hayward, and the rest of the Jazz didn’t do enough to help him on the perimeter. That trio combined to shoot five-of-17 from the floor for 26 points.
The Pacers’ Magnum Rolle—yes, that’s his real name—also provided a glimpse of his potential. Though he struggled with his footwork inside, his length and athleticism made him an attractive lob target. He scored 10 points and blocked four shots, but he clearly needs work, committing eight fouls and five turnovers as well.