"We just came out really loose on defense and were just playing flat," said Hayward, repeating a refrain heard often in the Jazz locker room Monday at Madison Square Garden. "It was tough to be able to bail ourselves out of a hole like that. But we just kept on fighting and we kept punching to get back to the lead."
The Jazz, however, were outscored 12-4 after Millsap's two free throws put them up 95-92 with 3:47 left.
"Unfortunately," Hayward added, "at times we let them do what they wanted to do and we just couldn't finish at the end."
A night after the Jazz experienced the raging "Lin-sanity" in New York (28 points from the Harvard point guard), Pacers playmaker Darren Collison burned Utah for 25 points.
Hibbert also had 17 for Indiana, which improved to 17-7.
Millsap bounced back from a rough night in New York to lead the Jazz with 18 points and 10 rebounds.
Jefferson added 16 points, and a total of six Jazz players hit double figures. However, for the second straight game, Utah trailed off in the fourth quarter.
On Monday, the Jazz lost after scoring just 15 in the final period, and on Tuesday, perhaps having run out of steam, they had a game-low 22 in the last 12 minutes of this back-to-back defeat.
Almost two-thirds of the season remains, but the Jazz suddenly find themselves in the No. 9 spot in the Western Conference with a whole lot of tough road tests coming up.
Utah had climbed as high as No. 2 in the West prior to losing six of their past 10 games.
"We've got to wake up," Jefferson said. "We got to start doing it, because we're going to find ourselves on the outside looking in."
Check out our Quick Take to see the news as it happened during and immediately after the game.
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- Doug Robinson: Peyton Manning sells out... 43
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- Dick Harmon: BYU's Sitake wants former... 39
- Dick Harmon: BYU's Harvey Unga to... 33
- Utah football: Delshawn McClellon... 26
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