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Pacers halt six-game skid

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INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana Pacers turned to their veteran center and two bit role players to end their six-game losing streak Monday night.

Roy Hibbert scored 29 points and non-starters A.J. Price and Lavoy Allen made solid contributions in a 97-86 victory over the Utah Jazz in Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

Price added 22 points and Allen had several key offensive rebounds, finishing with a double-double that included 12 points and 15 rebounds.

“I tried to establish myself early and my teammates did a really good job of finding me,” said Hibbert, who added five rebounds. “It’s a team game, and we played that way tonight.”

Price, who was signed last week because of several injuries in the Pacers’ backcourt, made 8 of 12 shots from the field goal, including 3 of 4 from 3-point range.

“They tried to defend us, but Roy was big time,” Price said. “Another thing was that we had only seven turnovers. Coach (Frank Vogel) has been on us to keep that number down.

“Tonight our goal was to keep it at 12, and we were under that. Utah wasn’t known as a team that forces a lot of turnovers. We tried to apply a lot of defensive pressure, especially picking up their guards and not letting them get into their offense.”

Utah starting guards Trey Burke and Alec Burks were a combined 6 of 25 from the field, including only 1 of 9 from beyond the arc.

Indiana also out rebounded the Jazz 44-37, including 22 from non-starters, led by Allen’s 15.

Indiana (2-6) had not lost six in a row since March 2011.

Pacers forward Luis Scola, who had eight points and eight rebounds, said defense turned the game’s momentum in the Pacers’ favor.

“We had a lot of good energy, and that really allowed us to get something goin,” Scola said.

Utah got 30 points — 17 in the second half — from forward Gordon Hayward, but the Jazz (3-5) had no answer for Hibbert, Price and Allen. Hibbert missed his regular-season career high of 30 points by one.

“It was an up and down game,” Hayward said. “Basketball is a game of runs, and unfortunately, they made their run last. I have to give credit to them. They battled and hit some big shots. They made a couple of wide open 3s off loose balls.”

Utah coach Quinn Snyder said Indiana’s 13-5 advantage in offensive rebounds was a key.

“When you work hard and get a second shot, usually that second shot is a good shot,” Snyder said. “And Hibbert is a really good player who got a lot of shots (21) and made some.”

Indiana used an 8-0 run to take an 82-77 lead with eight minutes remaining, getting consecutive 3-pointers from forward Damjan Rudez and Price and a basket from center Ian Mahinni.

A Price 3-pointer with 6:01 remaining extended the Pacers’ advantage to 87-79.

Vogel credited Price for helping end the losing streak.

“He obviously gave us a big-time lift tonight,” Vogel said. “We have four guys who are out for an extended period of time, and he was great tonight. We have him for 10 days, and when that time is up, we can sign him for 10 more days. To perform the way he performed tonight shows his value.”

The Jazz built a 60-53 third-quarter lead, but the Pacers responded with a 19-9 run and led 72-69 with 12 minutes remaining. Hibbert had 25 points through three quarters.

After trailing throughout most of the first half, the Pacers closed the second quarter on an 11-2 run to take a 47-41 lead after 24 minutes.

Hibbert scored six of his 17 first-half points during the final 1:38 of the second quarter, and forward Solomon Hill, who scored a career-best 28 points in a Saturday loss to Washington, added a steal and a dunk in the Pacers’ strong finish to an otherwise uneventful first two quarters.

Indiana, which trailed 20-17 after one quarter, made 12 of 23 shots from the field in a 30-point second quarter. The Pacers also out rebounded the Jazz 12-7 in the second quarter.

In addition to strong play from Hibbert, Indiana’s non-starters outscored the Utah bench 13-6 before halftime, including seven from Price.

NOTES: After missing the final three quarters of Saturday night’s loss to Washington with a bruised left knee, Pacers C Roy Hibbert returned to the starting lineup. … The Pacers continue to play without F David West (sprained right ankle), G George Hill (bruised left knee), G C.J. Watson (bruised right foot) and G Rodney Stuckey (sore left foot). … F Paul George is out indefinitely with a broken right tibia/fibula. … Utah starting F Gordon Hayward played college basketball at Butler in Indianapolis and attended high school in Brownsburg, Ind., just a few miles from Indianapolis … On Nov. 5, Hayward made the winning shot in a 102-100 victory over Cleveland…. Last season, Indiana swept the two-game series with Utah, marking the first time since the 2005-2006 season the Pacers swept the Jazz. … Indiana and Utah will play again on Jan. 5 in Salt Lake City.

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