Monday, December 31st at 3:00 PM EST at Bankers Life Fieldhouse
Game Rewind: IND 88, MEM 83
Scott Agness| December 31, 2012
The Pacers received a quality test Monday afternoon when they hosted the Memphis Grizzlies ahead of the New Year. Built with similar pieces and utilizing very similar concepts, the Grizzlies gave the Pacers a challenge that’ll likely pay dividends down the road. The Grizzlies led by seven after three quarters of play but a big fourth quarter helped the Pacers jump in front to pass the test and get the win, 88-83.
With George Hill sidelined due to a right groin strain, D.J. Augustin, who had been demoted to third-string point guard two weeks ago but since returned to backup Hill, got his first start of the season. And right away, he got involved. The Pacers’ first bucket came from David West, off a beautiful pass from Augustin. A couple possessions later, he drilled a 3-pointer to put the Pacers up four. Memphis kept things tight and tied the game up at 19 after one.
After the Pacers made their substitutions, the offensive production dropped. They missed nine field goals in a row and were outscored by the Grizzlies 10-0, five each to close the first and open the second. Paul George scored five of their final seven points of the half and the Pacers went down three at intermission.
The Pacers started the second half well, with a layup from Roy Hibbert followed by back-to-back three’s from Augustin and George to go ahead 47-46. The Grizzlies then scored 11 straight points – five at free throw line – to take a 10-point lead. They would lead by as many as 12 but the Pacers scored the final five of the quarter to cut the deficit to seven, entering the fourth.
That’s when things would take off for Indiana.
Ben Hansbrough drained two three-balls off the bench to get the rally started. West then stripped Darrell Arthur and passed ahead to George for a big slam dunk. Six turnovers in the fourth quarter plagued the Grizzlies. On the next two possessions, West was fouled and would go to the line, connecting on all four free throws to put the Pacers in front for good.
Under two minutes to go when the Grizzlies were desperately trying to get back in the game, Hibbert had a crucial block on Rudy Gay but he failed to come close on a hook shot. Five straight free throws from the Grizzlies cut Indiana’s lead to one but Augustin and Stephenson made a combined six shots at the charity stripe to cement an 88-83 win.
Inside the Numbers
Paul George paced the Pacers with 21 points, six rebounds and five assists in a team-high 42 minutes. D.J. Augustin finished with a season-high 17 points (4-for-7 from outside), and six assists as the teams’ starting point guard.
Memphis big man Zach Randolph recorded his league-best 22nd double-double of the season with 21 points and 15 rebounds in front of over 70 family and friends. Marc Gasol scored 13 and both Rudy Gay and Tony Allen had 11.
Both teams attempted 24 free throws. Indiana made 20 and Memphis connected on 18.
The Grizzlies outscored the Pacers 44-18 in the paint and held them to fewer than 20 points for the first time this season.
The Grizzlies scored 18 points off 18 offensive rebounds.
The Pacers registered 21 assists on 28 field goals, with each starter contributing at least two.
“That’s a really good team win for our guys. With George Hill being out, unable to go, D.J. Augustin stepped up and played an exceptional game…I’m really proud of the effort and the grit to beat a really good basketball team.” – Frank Vogel
“Throughout the whole game, things were not going our way. But each time we looked up at the scoreboard, we were still within striking distance and we just kept talking about how it was just going to take one little run to make this a game again.” – Frank Vogel on the comeback
“I thought we got a lot more active defensively with our hands and we were much more precise in terms of our communication and what we wanted to do defensively. And then guys stepped up and made shots.” – David West on the difference in the fourth quarter
“It felt good. I was able to get a rhythm, feel comfortable and let shots come to me.” – D.J. Augustin on his night
Stat of the Game
Although the Pacers attempted 12 less shots and the same amount of free throws, they outscored the Grizzlies 36-9 behind the arc – going 12-of-25.
- The Pacers have won eight of their last 10 games and five in a row at the Fieldhouse.
- The Pacers improve to 13-3 when they hold their opponents under 90 points.
- Frank Vogel was given a technical foul after voicing his displeasure with a no call on a Hibbert post move.
- The Pacers wore their gold uniforms.
- Katie Douglas, a member on the 2012 WNBA Champion Indiana Fever, was on hand.
The Pacers host the Washington Wizards to the Fieldhouse for the second time this year on Wednesday (7 PM EST).