Pacers' Jackson hears boos at home, still glad to play

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Pacers guard Stephen Jackson was just happy to be back on the basketball court.

Despite Indiana's 97-84 loss to the Utah Jazz in a preseason game Saturday night, and despite being booed several times by the crowd at Conseco Fieldhouse, Jackson said it felt good to play his first game.

"Playing basketball was what I was born to do," said Jackson, 28, who was arraigned Thursday on a felony charge of criminal recklessness and misdemeanor counts of battery and disorderly conduct as a result of an incident at an Indianapolis strip club last week.

He didn't play in the Pacers' 103-89 preseason opening win over New Jersey on Wednesday, the day the charges were filed.

Saturday, Jackson came off the bench and finished with six points in 23 minutes. He said the boos didn't affect him.

"All I can worry about is going out there and playing basketball," Jackson said. "People are entitled to their own opinion. ... I have a lot of people supporting me, and that's all I worry about."

Pacers forward Jermaine O'Neal, also making his preseason debut, said it was good to see Jackson play after he suffered minor injuries during the strip club incident.

"We're going to support Jack on the court and make sure he gets comfortable again," said O'Neal, who finished Saturday's game with 17 points and six rebounds.

Deron Williams had 24 points and Jarron Collins scored 13 for Utah (1-1), which lost starting guard Derek Fisher early in the game after he fell hard to the ground following a shot attempt. Fisher came down on his back and head and was taken to the hospital for X-rays on his pelvis.

"A guy gets hurt and everybody has to step up and play," Jazz coach Jerry Sloan said. "You have to be ready to step out there at any time."

Jackson struggled early in the game. During the first three minutes he played he missed two shots and had two turnovers.

"It's tough getting out there for the first time after missing time," Pacers coach Rick Carlisle said. "I like the way he was trying defensively, but there was rust offensively."

Utah, which took a 21-19 lead into the second quarter, used a 9-0 run to go ahead 30-21 in the first quarter. Indiana cut the deficit to four late in the quarter after two free throws by Jackson, but a Dee Brown 3-pointer at the buzzer gave the Jazz a 43-37 halftime lead.

Utah (1-1) took its biggest lead, 70-56, after Williams' layup with more than three minutes left in the third quarter.

Al Harrington had 22 points to lead Indiana (1-1), which was playing without Maceo Baston (sore foot), Marquis Daniels (sore hamstring), John Edwards (sore groin) and Orien Green (broken finger).

Utah was without forward Andrei Kirilenko (sore lower back).