Saturday, March 22, 2014 at 8:00 PM ET at FedExForum
Game Rewind: Pacers 71, Grizzlies 82
Scott Agness | March 22, 2014
Indiana turned in a feel-good performance on Friday, but was unable to follow it up Saturday night in Memphis. The Grizzlies (41-28) gave the Pacers (51-19) fit all night with their smothering defense and owned the inside game en route to 82-71 victory over the Eastern Conference leaders. Indiana’s 71 points was the team's lowest output of the season.
The Pacers fell behind 15-6 in the early going, missing eight of their first ten shots. However, they ended the period with an 11-4 spurt to get within two. All 19 of Memphis’ first-quarter points came from the three homegrown Hoosiers in the Grizzlies' starting lineup — Mike Conley, Courtney Lee, and Zach Randolph.
The Pacers then had an awful time getting shots to fall, in part due to the Grizzlies’ defensive attack. Memphis hovered in the paint and had great rotations when Indiana passed the ball to an open man. The Pacers were held to 26 percent shooting in the quarter and were handled both in the paint (10-2) and in transition (12-0). Grizzlies guard Mike Miller caught fire from downtown in the second quarter, hitting 4-of-5 3-point attempts in the period for all 13 of his points. The Pacers’ 30 first-half points set a new season-low and they went into the locker room frustrated, trailing by 13.
Roy Hibbert, limited by foul trouble all night, finally got on the board with a couple quick buckets to open the second half. But those would be his final points of the evening, and he failed to grab a rebound or record an assist. Zach Randolph, meanwhile, tallied eight of his 18 points in the third quarter. It wasn’t a great 12 minutes for the Pacers, but they lost little ground. With just 49 points through three quarters, Frank Vogel urged his team to focus on getting one stop at a time as they tried to chip away at their 15-point deficit.
In the fourth quarter, Indiana was too often unable to get a stop after getting points at the other end and never got within single digits. The Grizzlies, who won for the ninth consecutive time on their home floor, led for all but 53 seconds and kept the Pacers from clinching the division title on Saturday night.
The loss is the Pacers’ fourth straight double-digit road loss to a Western Conference team. This team hasn’t been particularly good playing games on consecutive nights, and that continued tonight. They dropped to 10-9 on the second night of a back-to-back, with just one more set remaining on the final two days in March.
The Pacers did receive some good news Saturday night, as the Miami Heat also lost, falling 105-95 to the Pelicans in New Orleans. In the race for the top seed in the East, the Pacers still have a three-game lead over the two-time defending champions with a clash coming in Indianapolis next Wednesday.
Inside the Numbers
Lance Stephenson was one of the few Pacers that produced offensively. He finished with 15 points, eight rebounds, four assists, and no turnovers. David West had 10 points and Evan Turner chipped in eight.
Paul George had another difficult night shooting the ball. He was 2-of-10 for eight points. Over the last four games, he’s shot just 24 percent (13-of-54) and hasn’t made more than four baskets in those games.
Memphis guard Mike Conley, who was held to just 11 points in his last game versus Indiana, scored a game-high 21 points against his hometown team. Zach Randolph recorded his 41st double-double of the season, finishing with 18 points and 13 rebounds. Marc Gasol, who was a game-time decision due to a sprained left ankle, had 10 and 9 in 39 minutes.
Memphis had a 47-35 rebounding advantage, and outscored Indiana in the paint, 46-24.
"We were a little bit too indecisive and hesitant with the basketball and we had poor shooting nights from a number of guys." – Frank Vogel on their poor shooting
“I think we got to move ourselves as well (as moving the ball). We got to create opportunity for teammates to move the ball. It’s only so much ball movement you can do when you’re not moving yourself. We got to do a better job of moving with the ball and do a better job of screen. We’re screening poorly right now as a team.” – Paul George
"We played well. We held this team to 82 points. It's the offensive end where we didn't play well. We didn't get into a rhythm. I thought, defensively, if you hold a basketball team to 82 points you are playing pretty good defense." – Paul George
"Our screening and spacing was off. We just couldn't get easy wide-open looks. We are executing our offense but shots weren't falling." – Roy Hibbert
“We didn’t play at a high level. I didn’t play at a high level, and we got to figure it out.” – Roy Hibbert
Stat of the Game
Roy Hibbert didn’t have a rebound for the first time in three seasons, dating back to April 4, 2012.
- With the win, the Grizzlies prevented a sweep in the season series for the second straight season.
- Memphis center Kosta Koufos received a technical foul for shoving Paul George at the end of the first quarter.
The Pacers travel to Chicago to take on the Bulls for the second time in four days. The two Central Division foes will face off Monday night at the United Center at 8:00 p.m. ET. Game Preview »