PAU GASOL
Memphis' prolific post player racked up 30 points on 11-of-19 shooting, adding 12 rebounds and two assists.
JIM O'BRIEN
"That was a very, very poor second half by our basketball team. I knew we were in trouble when we were missing open shots and then we stopped taking open shots."
  • Points in the paint: Pacers 34, Grizzlies 32
  • Fast-break points: Pacers 12, Grizzlies 10
  • Second-chance points: Pacers 17, Grizzlies 5
  • Points off turnovers: Pacers 13, Grizzlies 10
  • Starters scoring: Grizzlies 85, Pacers 47
  • Bench scoring: Pacers 25, Grizzlies 5
  • The Pacers tied a franchise record by scoring just nine points in the fourth quarter. It has been accomplished three previous times, most recently Dec. 18, 2004 at Chicago.
    The Pacers face the surging Atlanta Hawks Friday in Conseco Fieldhouse (7 p.m., WFNI-1070 AM).
  • Notes & quotes
  • Coach O'Brien's postgame briefing
  • Plus-minus rankings
  • Game info
  • MEMPHIS 90, INDIANA 72
    Slumping Pacers searching for answers

    By Conrad Brunner | Jan. 2, 2008


    It's getting difficult to identify the low point.

    It could've been blowing a 21-point lead to lose to a Minnesota team with the league's worst record. It could've been blowing a 13-point fourth-quarter lead to a Charlotte team that had lost 14 of 18. Those, at least, were on the road.

    This one, however, may have bottomed them all.

    The Pacers didn't blow a big lead because they were never able to build one in a 90-72 home loss Wednesday to a Memphis team that had: never won in 11 previous trips to Indianapolis; was riding a five-game losing streak; and had dropped 12 of its previous 14 games.

    "Every loss is disturbing and painful," said Coach Jim O'Brien. "It's our job to figure it out. Any time you lose five in a row, certainly we took a step back. But we will figure this situation out and be ready to play on Friday night (against Atlanta in Conseco Fieldhouse."

    Indiana (15-18) lost its fifth straight and sixth in seven games by managing just 29 points on 11-of-42 shooting (.262) in the second half. The Pacers tied a franchise record-low by scoring just nine points in the fourth period.

    "That was a very, very poor second half by our basketball team," said O'Brien. "I knew we were in trouble when we were missing open shots and then we stopped taking open shots. Give them the credit, they outplayed us in the second half and deserved to win. We lacked movement. Being a team that has assisted well throughout the year, the 13 assists is a combination of our lack of movement and our inability to make open shots. …

    "You can't pass up open shots. Our offense is not designed to pass up open shots. In a number of timeouts we brought up that exact thing. If you miss 10 in a row you have to be willing to take the next 10 if you're open because they're all good shooters."

    Memphis (9-22) took a 71-63 lead into the fourth quarter, scored just two points in the first 4½ minutes of the period, shot 7-of-20 – and yet pulled away. That's because the Pacers were even worse – much worse. They shot 3-of-17 in the quarter with four turnovers.

    “We played very bad tonight," said Marquis Daniels. "We struggled from the get-go. We’ve got to pull ourselves together and play like the basketball team we used to be. We’ve got to get better movement on both ends of the court. We just flat lost and we can’t live with that."

    Mike Dunleavy was the high scorer with 16 points but shot 6-of-17. Jeff Foster had 13 points and nine rebounds off the bench. Andre Owens scored 11 but the point guard had three turnovers and just one assist. Troy Murphy had 10 points and 15 rebounds. Jermaine O'Neal never got untracked, shooting 2-of-11 and producing four points.

    The Pacers established season lows for points, field-goal percentage (.308), 3-point percentage (.179) and tied the low for assists (13).

    Memphis was led by Pau Gasol, who had 30 points and 12 rebounds; Rudy Gay, who had 24 points, six rebounds and five assists; and Mike Miller, who produced 19 points, 11 rebounds and four assists.

    Grizzlies rookie Michael Conley made his first career start in his hometown and the Lawrence North High School product was solid with seven points, eight assists, six rebounds and three steals.