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12/20/2012 12:56 AM EST
Green scores 21 to lead Pacers past Jazz 104-84
INDIANA 104, UTAH 84

By CLIFF BRUNT
Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- It's all starting to come together for
Gerald Green and the Indiana Pacers.



Green scored a season-high 21 points to help the Indiana Pacers
beat the Utah Jazz 104-84 on Wednesday night.



Paul George had 20 points, 11 rebounds and four blocks, and
George Hill also scored 20 and had five assists for the Pacers,
who matched their largest victory margin of the season and won
for the fourth time in five games.



Indiana has been one of the league's best defensive teams all
season, but the Pacers have struggled to score while Danny
Granger, last year's top scorer, recovers from surgery on his
left knee. Against Utah, the Pacers scored more than 100 points
for just the fourth time this season and shot 51.3 percent from
the field, the first time this season the Pacers were above 50
percent.



"It's a big lift to really come out and play well on both sides
of the floor," George said. "We knew our defense was holding up.
A lot of times, our defense holds up, it's just a matter of
whether of if we're capitalizing on the other end."



The Pacers took most of their shots in rhythm.



"I think we trusted passing more than we have all season and
that's what coach (Frank Vogel) has been preaching all year
long," Hill said. "If we can believe in each other, trust in
each other, try to create a shot for each other rather than for
yourself all the time, we can have great offensive nights like
we did tonight."



Green started in New Jersey last season, and the Pacers had high
hopes for him after acquiring him during the summer. He had
struggled with his shot recently and was dropped from the
starting lineup, but he found a groove against the Jazz.



"We just want him being aggressive, and that's how guys get out
of shooting slumps - not by being hesitant, but by getting that
green light and just go," Vogel said.



Derrick Favors scored 16 points, Alec Burks had 12 and Mo
Williams 11 for the Jazz, who lost their third in the last four
games.



"They are a good defensive team," Utah coach Tyrone Corbin said.
"They took us out of what we wanted to do early. They forced a
lot of late shot-clock shots, most of them from the perimeter."



The Jazz took an early 11-6 lead, but the Pacers dominated the
rest of the first quarter and led 31-23 heading into the second.



George dominated the early part of the second quarter to help
the Pacers extend their lead. Indiana led 53-31 at halftime,
holding the Jazz to their lowest point total in a half this
season. Utah made just 3 of 20 field goals in the second quarter
and scored only eight points, a season low for a quarter.



"We took a defensive stand, communicating, helping one another,
being in our gaps, making things tough, and when you do things
like that, you know it's going to be a great night," Hill said.



Hill had 14 points at halftime and George had 12.



A three-point play by David West early in the third quarter
pushed Indiana's lead to 56-33, and a layup by Hill extended it
to 25 points. By the time the Jazz called timeout, the Pacers
led 60-33.



Indiana continued to dominate defensively, and the Pacers ended
the third quarter with a 76-51 lead. The Pacers' largest lead in
the quarter was 32 points. Utah was 6 for 18 from the field in
the period, and by the end of the quarter only one Utah player
had scored in double figures. Indiana had four players in double
figures at that point.



It was a humbling loss for Utah, which had a season-low point
total and was outscored 52-28 in the paint.



"I don't know if we can get past this quickly," Utah guard
Gordon Hayward said. "We just need to get back to work and work
on things in practice. Eventually, we'll put it behind us and
move on."



Utah was coming off a 92-90 win at Brooklyn on Tuesday night,
while Indiana lost at Milwaukee on Tuesday.



"Both of us playing back-to-back, I don't think we can use that
as an excuse," Hayward said. "We just got outplayed tonight."



NOTES: Hayward, a former Butler University star, scored eight
points in 13 minutes at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, just a few
miles from where he played college ball in Indianapolis. ...
Utah G Jamaal Tinsley, a former Pacer, did not play. ... No Jazz
player scored more than two points in the second quarter. Utah
went 0 for 8 from 3-point range in that period. ... Indiana C
Roy Hibbert, who had scored in single digits three of the past
four games, finished with 12. ... Pacers first-round pick Miles
Plumlee played for the first time since Nov. 18. He had an
alley-oop dunk in the final minute. ... Pacers reserve guard Ben
Hansbrough suffered a grade 1 sprain of his left shoulder.

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