Joe Murphy/NBAE/Getty Images
Danny Granger posted 23 points to help keep the Pacers unbeaten with a win over the Grizzlies on Saturday.
Indiana 121, Memphis 111
MEMPHIS, Tenn., Nov. 3 (AP) -- An unbeaten start so far is helping the Indiana Pacers forget about a disappointing last season.
With a 35-47 record, the Pacers missed the playoffs for the first time since 1997, and they are not forgetting about it.
"For a lot of us it's about pride,'' Indiana guard Mike Dunleavy said. "We all felt terrible about the way the season ended. ... This team has a sour taste in its mouth from last year, and I feel like we will keep it with us throughout the season.''
Dunleavy had 27 points and eight rebounds Saturday night to help the Indiana Pacers remain unbeaten with a 121-111 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies.
Dunleavy connected on 11-of-17 from the field as six Pacers finished in double figures. Danny Granger added 23, while Jamaal Tinsley finished with 14 points and seven assists. Jermaine O'Neal scored 13, and Kareem Rush and Ike Diogu chipped in 12 each.
Kyle Lowry led Memphis with a career-high 19 points, and Pau Gasol finished with 18. Mike Miller scored 14 and Rudy Gay finished with 13 in 19 minutes after struggling through foul trouble. Gasol and Miller had 10 rebounds each.
Memphis, which never led in the game, had finally cut into the Pacers' double-digit lead during the latter part of the third period. Indiana scored the first nine points of the fourth to rebuild the advantage to 16.
"Offensively, we felt like: 'Man, they're just pounding us.' We never felt like we had them on their heels. It was always the other way around,'' said Memphis' Casey Jacobsen, who had 12 points.
The Grizzlies had one run left midway through the period when they went on an 11-0 run to get to 105-101. A basket by Dunleavy and a pair of field goals by Diogu put an end to the streak, and Indiana was in front to stay.
"We didn't get back in transition,'' O'Neal said of the Grizzlies run. "Those guys are a pretty fast team. We knew they were going to make a run. When teams make runs, we have to withstand them and play good defense.''
Memphis continually made mistakes to keep from overtaking the Pacers. The Grizzlies' 27 turnovers led to 36 points. Lowry had six of the miscues.
"They deserve some credit for the turnovers,'' Memphis coach Marc Iavaroni said, "but not 27 of them.''
Memphis looked lethargic during the early stages, and the lack of defense allowed Indiana to shoot 64 percent in the half. Dunleavy had 15 points as Indiana built a 72-61 lead at the break.
"That was a little too much,'' Gasol said of the shooting percentage. "We put ourselves in a hole. We fight back, and fight back, and we might cut it to a very close game, but we shouldn't have to do that.''
Notes: The game was the second of a pair of season-opening home games for the Grizzlies. Memphis heads out on the road for 10 days with stops in Seattle, Portland and Utah. ... Pacers F Shawne Williams, who played collegiately at Memphis, didn't get to play in his hometown. Williams was serving the last game of a team-imposed three-game suspension for violating team standards stemming from driving without a license. ... O'Neal was whistled for a technical while sitting on the bench in the third period. ... O'Neal, who missed the opening game of the season recovering from a hyperextended left knee after offseason arthroscopic surgery, said he is improving. "I'm still not where I need to be,'' the Pacers center said. "Hopefully, next game I'm not limited to 25 minutes like the doctor put me at for the first two games. ...I don't see this 25-minute-a-game-thing going too much longer.'' ... Dunleavy got a split upper lip in Friday night's game against Miami that required 12 stitches. Saturday, the lip took another shot, sending him to the locker room shortly before halftime. "I've got a fat lip, a real fat lip, and that's how it's going to be for awhile,'' he said.