Saturday, October 20 at 7:00 PM at Bankers Life Fieldhouse
Game Rewind (Preseason): IND 83, MEM 80
by Scott Agness
Playing their first back-to-back of the season, the Pacers wanted a better performance and a victory in front of the home crowd Saturday against the Memphis Grizzlies. The Pacers were victorious, 83-80, in their final home preseason game. Memphis led most of the way, but the Pacers kept it close despite early shooting woes.
Coming off a loss in Orlando, Coach Vogel wanted energy and ball movement. Gerald Green was the energy guy, scoring a game-high 18 points on 7-of-14 shooting. He was the only player on either side that shot the ball well (7-of-14). And when the Pacers needed a bucket late, it was Green that embraced the role and knocked it down.
The Pacers started the game slowly, going 4-for-18 and committing 10 fouls in the first period. But, they didn't let that stop them. Tyler Hansbrough was called for a charge and had a shot blocked, but was tenacious on the boards, grabbing 11 in the first half alone. The Pacers scored 21 second-chance points thanks to an all-around strong night rebounding. Fifteen first-half free throws also kept the Pacers afloat as they failed to hit a field goal in the final 6:33 of the first half, yet still went into the locker room up one.
The game was close throughout, having 10 ties and 9 lead changes. However, due to plenty of missed shots and fouls, neither team really found a rhythm.
Entering the fourth stanza, the Pacers held a two-point advantage until the 9:57 when Zach Randolph scored on a layup to put Memphis up two. Gerald Green hit an outside jumper with 3:29 to play, which game the Pacers a 79-78 lead and they never looked back. Randolph missed a pair of free throws and Memphis missed their final nine field goals (over the last 5:52) in the loss. Rudy Gay’s three at the buzzer to force overtime was no good.
Coming off a loss in Orlando, Coach Vogel wanted energy out of his team. The Pacers started the game slow, going 4-for-18 and committing 10 fouls. Tyler Hansbrough was called for a charge and had a shot blocked but he was tenacious on the boards, grabbing 11 in the first half alone. 15 free throws aided the Pacers as shots weren't falling. The Pacers failed to hit a field goal in the final 6:33 of the first half.
Entering the fourth stanza, the Pacers held a two-point advantage until the 9:57 as Zach Randolph scored on a layup to put Memphis up two. Gerald Green knocked down an outside with 3:29 to play to go up 79-78 and the Pacers never looked back. Randolph missed a pair of free throws and the Grizzlies missed their final nine field goals in the loss.
Inside the Numbers
Free-throws continue to be a strength for Indiana, connecting on 19-of-22. (Last year, they were third in the league).
The Pacers three wins have come by an average of 4 points.
Roy Hibbert registered his second double-double – 14 points, 10 rebounds.
Ten players checked in but only nine saw significant minutes.
Mike Conley scored 10 points and dished out 3 assists against his hometown team. Zach Randolph, anther Indiana kid, led the Grizzlies with 15 points.
"Hes a shot-maker. That’s what we liked about it. When we studied him this summer, it wasn't just his dunking ability, which is obviously a weapon. He’s a great three-point shooter and he has the ability to elevate up and be a solid shot maker." – Frank Vogel, on Gerald Green
"This is basically our first back to back, and we wanted to come out strong and win the game. Memphis is a very physical team, and I think that we held our own. We battled with them and luckily some shots went down for us in the fourth quarter." – Roy Hibbert
"It’s a long season. I’m still just trying to get acclimated and get the feel of everyone’s game. Roy gave me a pass today off a baseline cut—that was the first time I’ve gotten that pass throughout all of training camp. Now, that’s something that I’ll be looking for..." – Gerald Green
"It is good to come home and get back to Indy to see family and friends. But in a few more weeks, we’re going to have to be ready. And if we can keep everybody healthy, I think we are looking at good season." – Memphis guard Mike Conley
Stat of the Game
The Pacers owned the glass, outrebounding a big Grizzlies team 52-40. And it wasn't just a one or two guys grabbing all the boards: Hansbrough had 13, Hibbert had 10, and Ian Mahinmi and Paul George grabbed 7 apiece.
- Paul George has scored in double-figures in all five preseason games.
- Indiana's big men received a valuable test inside, battling against All-Star Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph
- Ian Mahinmi and Roy Hibbert played together at the four and five position for the first time. Should West miss time with injury or get in foul trouble, Hibbert said he liked the possibility of playing alongside Mahinmi.
- Jeff Pendergraph registered three quick fouls off the bench in 6 minutes and 53 seconds.
- Danny Granger (knee) and George Hill (thumb) still haven’t played in the preseason.
- David West sat out with a slight sprain in hand that suffered in Orlando on Friday.
- Announced attendance for Bankers Life Fieldhouse was 10,786.
- Pacers starters: Augustin, George, Green, Hansbrough, Hibbert.
Indiana will be on the road for their final two preseason games—one coming on the campus of Notre Dame Friday against Chicago. Before that, the blue and gold face the Cavaliers on Tuesday (7 p.m., on 1070 The Fan). Danny Granger is expected to make his preseason debut in Cleveland after being cautious with a left knee injury.
The Pacers open the regular season Oct. 31st in Toronto, with the first home game being Saturday, November 3rd against the Sacramento Kings. Tickets for Opening Night are now on sale.