C.J. Miles held various roles for the Utah Jazz over his first seven NBA seasons. Now Indiana’s sixth man, he’ll try to help the Pacers recover from a difficult defeat as their trip resumes in Salt Lake City.
With the streaky guard looking to continue his recent scoring surge, the still short-handed Pacers are aiming to get back on track with their sixth win in nine games Monday night against the resurgent Jazz.
Miles spent his only season as a full-time starter in 2008-09 during Utah’s string of four straight playoff appearances and averaged a career-best 12.8 points for the Jazz two years later.
The 2005 second-round pick played in Cleveland the past two seasons before leaving to sign with Indiana in July. After battling through migraine headaches and a calf injury early in the season, he’s been one of the Pacers’ key contributors with 17.2 points per game and 39.2 percent shooting from 3-point range in his last 10.
Miles scored a team-high 19 in Sunday’s 88-87 loss to the Lakers in the second of a four-game trip. Kobe Bryant sank the winning shot with 12.4 seconds left as the Pacers blew a 13-point lead and failed to win three in a row for the first time.
"Obviously we have to leave this one here," forward David West told the team’s official website. "Just try to prepare as best we can tonight and tomorrow to come out and give a good effort in Utah."
Indiana (13-22) is expected to be without starting guard George Hill (groin), backup guard C.J. Watson (foot) and big man Ian Mahinmi (foot). Guard Donald Sloan has totaled 26 points, 15 assists and 15 rebounds in his last two starts.
The Pacers have allowed 91.8 points per game in their last nine – 4.1 less than their league-best average. They held the Jazz to 6-of-21 3-point shooting and owned a 44-37 rebounding advantage in a 97-86 home win Nov. 10 despite playing without Miles, Hill, Watson, West and Rodney Stuckey.
Embattled center Roy Hibbert had a season-high 29 points in that contest and he’s totaled 30 to go along with 18 rebounds in the first two games of the road swing.
The Jazz (12-22) shot 50.7 percent, hit 11 of 20 from long range and held a 47-37 edge on the glass in Saturday’s 101-89 win at Minnesota. They own a plus-6.8 rebounding margin and have allowed 92.5 points per game while winning six of nine.
Trey Burke finished with a season-high 28 points and made 4 of 6 from 3-point range Saturday after missing 17 of 19 shots a night earlier – including all 11 from 3. He scored five on 2-of-12 shooting in the first matchup with the Pacers.
”When teams fall back in pick-and-roll I’m able to get into the paint and make decisions," Burke said. "A lot of times teams press up and I’m still trying to find ways to be aggressive in those situations.”
Gordon Hayward hopes to bounce back after he had nine points on 4-of-13 shooting Saturday. He had scored 20.6 per game while hitting 20 of 33 from 3-point range over his previous eight.
Hayward had 30 points and Enes Kanter added 18 in the first meeting, but Kanter has been ruled out for Monday with a sprained ankle. Rudy Gobert could get another start after finishing with 13 points, 11 boards and six blocks at Minnesota.
The Jazz have dropped the past three meetings.