Indiana Pacers swingman Domantas Sabonis was dealing with a bruised knee but he didn't want to sit out Wednesday's game against the Charlotte Hornets. Sabonis ended up balling and leading the Pacers to a 116-106 win as he posted a triple-double of 22 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists.
"I don't like sitting out," Sabonis said. "I woke up today and I felt good. I did my shooting time and I was like, 'I can play.' I would have felt worse if I didn't play." Sabonis earned a praise from his coach Nate Bjorkgren for the toughness he showed on Wednesday night.
"The toughness that he showed to step foot in that game after taking that knee-to-knee [on Monday], that toughness goes a long way," Bjorkgren said. "He's a willing passer. When the ball is in his hands, he's going to make the right play.
He took 10 shots and had double-digit assists. He will continuously make the right play."
Sabonis praised by Malcolm Brogdon
Pacers star guard Brogdon, who scored a team-high 25 points, praised Sabonis for his performance.
"Along with Joker [Nikola Jokic], he's one of the best passing bigs in the league," Brogdon said of Sabonis. Meanwhile, the Utah Jazz defeated the Dallas Mavericks 116-104 to claim their 10tj consecutive win. "It's exciting, but it's really early in the season," said Utah All-Star center Rudy Gobert, who had season highs of 29 points, 20 rebounds and three steals and also blocked three shots versus Dallas.
"Our goal is obviously to be one of the best teams in the league, but it's really to be ready for the playoffs." Jazz guard Jordan Clarkson said: "We're trying to create our identity -- getting up the floor, playing fast, defending, shooting 3s, getting in the paint.
The biggest thing we harp on is defensively. We're trying to have no slack on that end." Meanwhile, Jazz guard Joe Ingles suggested the Jazz have found their identify. "We've figured out the style and pace and stuff that we want to play at," Ingles said.
"It's just a really fun group to play with. We play for each other. There's no egos involved. It's not as unsalvageable as people think. It's just a really cool group. Different guys step up at different times. We play the right way.
We're unselfish. We defend. "But we're not satisfied. We're not going to get over the moon over one win or 10 in a row."