Monday, November 11, 2013 at 7:00 PM ET at Bankers Life Fieldhouse
Game Rewind: Pacers 95, Grizzlies 79
Scott Agness | November 11, 2013
Lance Stephenson turned in the most complete game of his professional career Monday night, recording his first career triple-double. Like Stephenson, the Pacers played their most complete game of the season and shredded the Grizzlies 95-79 to stay perfect, 8-0.
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The Pacers were back at Bankers Life Fieldhouse to complete a challenging stretch of five games over seven days. The Memphis Grizzlies (3-4), last year a Western Conference finalist, made their lone trip of the season to Indianapolis. Last year their pair of games were decided by just five points and one, respectively.
Indiana’s defense held firm through early on. The Grizzlies were just 6-of-22 shooting in the first quarter and they were outrebounded 21-8. The unselfish Pacers made the extra pass, which resulted in seven assists on 10 field goals. With four blocks and limiting Grizzlies center Marc Gasol to 2-of-7 in the first 12 minutes, Roy Hibbert made his presence felt in the post.
The Pacers extended their lead to 12 halfway through the quarter, but then the Grizzlies scored six in a row to draw within six points. Lance Stephenson, though a tad wild at times, nearly recorded a triple-double by the end of the half. Stephenson had eight points, nine rebounds and eight assists at the break and the Pacers’ advantage was seven. He and the rest of the team were fully aware when they were in the locker room.
Success following the halftime speech continued for the Pacers as they outscored the Grizzlies by 10 in the third quarter. They have won every third quarter this season, raising the differential to +70. Paul George scored 13 of his game-high 23 points in the third, including the Pacers’ final nine of the quarter.
A special moment occurred 1:04 into the fourth when Paul George sank a 20-foot jumper. It came on a pass from Stephenson, ensuring him of his triple-double – which included a career-high 12 assists. George knew when he caught it that he had to hit it for his teammate. A timeout was immediately called by the Grizzlies and the 23-year-old smiled ear-to-ear as he chest-bumped teammates to celebrate.
The game was pretty much in hand by this point, but the leaders (and starters) of this team kept supporting from the bench. With less than a minute to play, fans rose to their feet and screamed, “UN-DE-FEATED.” Undefeated indeed, but nothing is won at the beginning of the season.
The Pacers shot 48.7 percent, dominated the boards, tallied a season-low 13 turnovers and had six players finish in double figures. That’s about as complete as they come.
Now 8-0, the Pacers will take Tuesday off before getting some much needed practice time on Wednesday and Thursday. Then, they’re back at it this weekend with another back-to-back: vs Milwaukee on Friday and then in Chicago on Saturday.
Inside the Numbers
Paul George’s streak of at least 21 points in every game this season continues. He had 23 along with seven assists. George Hill had 13, and Scola netted 12 on 5-of-10 shooting.
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Although Roy Hibbert was limited on the offensive end, contributing three points, he grabbed seven rebounds and wiped away five shots, thus elevating his NBA-leading total to 35 through eight games.
Marc Gasol led the Grizzlies with 15 points and six rebounds in 30 minutes. Zach Randolph totaled 12 and Mike Conley was limited to just 11 points and two dimes.
The Pacers are the 18th team in NBA history to win their first eight games. It’s the franchise’s first 8-game winning streak since Nov. 2003, according to ESPN Stats.
“Our confidence on the defensive end to get stops, to be in the right spots, to use our length, to play without fouling, to have the rim protected, to spray out to shooters, and just to get shots is really at an all-time high that I’ve ever been a part of.” – Frank Vogel
“Lance was a force out there with his triple-double. But the most impressive thing about it to me, clearly, is only one turnover. 12 assists, one turnover. He’s been one of our most efficient players all year and that trend continued tonight.” – Vogel on Lance Stephenson
“We have so many pieces. It's fun. Everybody's making shots, everybody's aware (of one another), everybody's great on defense and when we play together, we're great." – Lance Stephenson
“This is probably the toughest game when you’re dealing with those situations. And playing against a very, very good basketball team in Memphis, I just thought our resolve to play the game our style ultimately has been able to get us these wins.” – David West on winning five games in seven nights
“I think the most important thing is the way we are playing and the level of confidence we’re playing with. We’re playing like we belong to be the No. 1 seed in the East, at least for these eight games. We know we’re going to lose games, too, but we’re playing the right way and we have the right attitude, the right approach for the game.” – Luis Scola
“Paul George is playing at an all-world level. They’re an elite team, there’s no question.” – Grizzlies coach Dave Joerger
Stat of the Game
Lance Stephenson’s triple double: 13 points, a career-high 12 assists and 11 rebounds, which tied his career high.
- The Pacers have topped the Grizzlies for the third straight time.
- Lance Stephenson was issued a technical foul in the second quarter for palming the ball in Tony Allen’s face. Allen then earned a flagrant-1 foul in the third for intentionally tripping Paul George.
- Quincy Pondexter fractured his nose early in the second quarter and didn’t return.
- Frank Vogel said pregame that the plan is for Danny Granger to begin practicing this week, starting with individual work on Tuesday since the team will take the day off.
- Roy Hibbert’s parents, Roy Sr. and Patty, were in attendance, as was comedian Mike Epps.
Friday, Nov. 15 vs Milwaukee – 7:00 p.m. EST - TICKETS »