Gasol Leads Grizzlies’ Rout Over Pacers
Memphis 105, Indiana 75
MEMPHIS, Tenn., March 21 (Ticker) -- The Memphis Grizzlies are known as a defensive team. Thanks in large part to Pau Gasol, the offense had an impressive effort as well.
Gasol collected 23 points, eight rebounds, seven assists and four blocks in just 31 minutes as the Grizzlies rolled to their biggest win of the season, a 105-75 drubbing of the Indiana Pacers.
"These are very important wins for us, because we're trying to finish this homestand off strong," Gasol said. "Whether it's a 30-point win or 10 points, we just want to get through each game and get closer to the playoffs."
"It was important for us to get out to a good start tonight and keep this win streak going," Grizzlies coach Mike Fratello said. "Tonight was a terrific shooting exhibition by our guys."
The Grizzlies entered the contest with the NBA's second-best defense at 88.9 points per game. Conversely, they are 27th in offense at 91.4 points.
The Pacers held a 27-26 advantage with 10:57 left in the first half before the Grizzlies went on a 23-9 surge the rest of the period to take the lead for good. Memphis held Indiana to 26 percent (5-of-19) shooting in the quarter.
"We just had it going," said Jackson, who scored six points in the period. "When we're playing like that, passing the ball and making baskets and defending like we did, it's going to be pretty hard for teams to beat us."
Gasol scored 13 points in the third period, when Memphis put away the game. The All-Star did not play in the final period, which the Grizzlies opened with a 15-2 charge to take their largest lead, 99-62.
"We're stacking wins," Battier said. "Stacking wins is like a squirrel storing nuts for the winter. You want them any way you can get them, and we need to stack enough to get into the playoffs."
Jeff Foster and Anthony Johnson scored 15 points apiece for Indiana (33-32), which fell into a virtual tie with Milwaukee (34-33) for sixth place in the East.
The Pacers, who are 3-6 in their last nine games overall, have three 30-point losses on the road this season.
"We want to get to the playoffs," Foster said. "We come out every night and try to give it our best effort, but lately we haven't done that."
"We'll have to bounce back in a big way," Pacers coach Rick Carlisle said. "It's a disappointing performance. I'll leave it at that. ... We have to get better because we have a tough stretch ahead of us."