SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Myles Turner stood up to Rudy Gobert and the Indiana Pacers knocked down the Utah Jazz.
Malcolm Brogdon scored a season-high 30 points and grabbed nine rebounds, leading the Pacers to a 111-100 victory on Thursday night that ended Utah’s unbeaten home start.
Turner, Gobert, Donovan Mitchell and Joe Ingles were ejected with 4:01 left. Turner shoved Gobert, planting his shoulder in his back after a missed layup. Gobert responded by bear hugging him and trying to wrestle Turner to the floor. The two players had to be separated near the basket across from the Pacers bench.
Turner blamed the scuffle on Gobert knocking him to the floor after the initial play.
“I had to stand up for myself in that situation,” Turner said. “I don’t think I did anything wrong. But that’s not for me to decide. We’ll talk to the league and see what happens from there.”
Brogdon had the eighth 30-point game of his career and T.J. McConnell added 21 points, eight rebounds and five assists off the bench for the Pacers. Turner had 13 points and nine rebounds.
The Pacers finished 2-2 on their road trip after their second road win of the season. They’re 5-8 overall and have won 4 out of their last 6 games.
“We’ve got a resilient group,” Brogdon said. “We’ve got a group that’s maturing and a group that’s getting better and getting tougher. We’ve got to continue to build on this.”
Mitchell scored 26 points and Gobert added 19 points and 11 rebounds. Mitchell blamed the scuffle on built-up frustration over the referees allowing too much contact early in the game.
“That whole thing could have been avoided — just draw the line early, as opposed to letting it build up for the whole game,” Mitchell said.
Mitchell got off to a fast start and gave the Jazz an early boost. But after Bojan Bogdanovic drove for a layup to give Utah a 42-38 lead midway through the second quarter, the Pacers held the Jazz to just four baskets over the final 6 ½ minutes before halftime. Meanwhile, Indiana crashed the boards and repeatedly scored second-chance baskets to go back in front.
The Pacers closed the half on an 11-3 run punctuated by back-to-back baskets from McConnell and took a 60-51 lead.
“They were able to get in the paint against us put pressure on the rim,” Jazz coach Quin Snyder said. “That wasn’t just our guards. That was breakdowns in a lot of different areas.”
Gobert scored 11 points in the third quarter to help the Jazz briefly rally. Turner and Brogdon combined to make three 3-pointers on three straight possessions to quell the run and extend the Pacers’ lead back to 83-74.
“This is a top-five team in the league. But we brought a great level of fight to the game, and we were able to get it done,” Pacers coach Rick Carlisle said.
Utah drew no closer than five points in the fourth quarter and had any comeback hopes dashed with the ejections of Mitchell and Gobert late in the quarter.
“We lacked physicality,” Gobert said. “We let them get way too many offensive rebounds. They were the more aggressive team tonight. We made some runs, but you know, we couldn’t get the stops we needed.
Pacers: Caris LaVert was sidelined for a second straight game (lower back soreness). … Martin scored a season-high 14 points off the bench. … Indiana scored 18 second-chance points off 12 offensive rebounds in the first half.
Jazz: Mike Conley finished with a team-high eight assists. … Utah made just four 3-pointers over the final three quarters. The Jazz finished 9-of-32 from 3-point range.
Turner blocked three shots, the ninth time in 13 games that he’s blocked three or more shots. His ability to alter other shots and corral numerous rebounds led Brogdon to declare following the game that Turner deserves to be named the league’s Defensive Player of the Year this season.
“We’ve got the best defensive player in the league on our team,” Brogdon said. “I hope people saw that tonight. We got the best defensive player that was playing against the second-best player defensive player in the league tonight.”
The Jazz held a moment of silence before tipoff for Izzy Tichenor, a 10-year-old Utah girl who died by suicide after her family said she was the victim of bullying from classmates and teachers at Foxboro Elementary, a school in North Salt Lake. Tichenor was Black and autistic.
Pacers: Host Philadelphia on Saturday.
Jazz: Host Miami on Saturday.