INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Aaron Nesmith scored 24 points and Bennedict Mathurin and Myles Turner each added 22 to lead the Indiana Pacers past the Utah Jazz 134-118 on Wednesday night.
Tyrese Haliburton scored all 16 of his points in the second half and finished with 13 assists. Jalen Smith had his first double-double of the season with 16 points and 11 rebounds.
The NBA’s highest-scoring team entertained television celebrity David Letterman by winning for the third time in four games and topping the 120-point mark for the fourth straight game. Six players scored in double figures as the Pacers made 13 3-pointers.
Utah was led by Jordan Clarkson, who had a season-high 33 points. Lauri Markkanen added 24 points and nine rebounds for the Jazz, who lost their fourth in a row and fell to 0-5 on the road this season.
But the loss was only part of Utah’s story. Before the game, the Jazz announced starting center Walker Kessler, a first team all-rookie selection last season, will miss at least two weeks because of an injured left elbow. Doctors, team officials said, recommended Kessler avoid all contact until he is re-evaluated at the end of the rest period.
To compensate, first-year coach Will Hardy went with a three-guard lineup, giving two — rookie Keyonte George and Ochai Agbaji — their first starts of the season.
And while George had seven points and nine assists, things didn’t work out for Utah.
Turner dominated the middle with a 20-point first half as the Pacers erased an early 10-point deficit to take a 67-60 halftime lead. Then, in the second half, when the Pacers really pushed the tempo, Utah wore down.
Indiana scored the final six points of the third quarter to take a 101-98 lead and extended the margin to 120-106 with 5:49 to play. The Jazz never seriously challenged again.
Jazz: Finish a four-game trip Friday at Memphis.
Pacers: Head to Philadelphia for back-to-back games Sunday and Tuesday.