Markkanen, Kessler help Jazz overwhelm Pacers 139-119

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Lauri Markkanen had 24 points and 13 rebounds to lead the Utah Jazz to a 139-119 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Friday night.

Rookie center Walker Kessler scored a career-high 20 points on 7-of-7 shooting and grabbed 11 rebounds for Utah. Jordan Clarkson had 19 points and Collin Sexton added 18 as the Jazz shot 55% from the field and matched a season high for points.

Myles Turner scored 18 points to lead Indiana. Tyrese Haliburton and Jalen Smith added 14 apiece, but the Pacers lost for the third time in four games on their road trip.

Utah used efficient offense and stingy defense to take control before halftime. The Jazz shot 63% from the floor in the first half and made nine 3-pointers. They held the Pacers without a basket for three minutes in the first quarter to build a 35-21 lead.

Indiana erased the deficit in the second, tying it on Smith’s layup, but Utah didn’t let the Pacers go in front. Jarred Vanderbilt and Clarkson scored three baskets apiece to fuel a 17-0 run that put the Jazz up 71-54 shortly before halftime.

The Pacers cut the deficit to 81-71 on Bennedict Mathurin’s layup midway through the third quarter. Utah pulled away again, going up 101-79 on three straight baskets from Markkanen, Kessler and Talen Horton-Tucker.

TIP-INS

Pacers: Andrew Nembhard had a career-high 10 assists. … Indiana forced 24 turnovers.

Jazz: Scored a season-high 40 points in the second quarter.

UP NEXT

Pacers: Visit the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday.

Jazz: Host the Trail Blazers on Saturday.

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John Coon, The Associated Press