Game Rewind: Pacers 82, Grizzlies 81
Monday, January 21st at 1:00 PM EST at FedEx Forum
Game Rewind: IND 82, MEM 81
by Scott Agness | January 21, 2013, 4:55 PM
A defensive, low-scoring contest was to be expected as the Pacers and Memphis Grizzlies, the NBA's best defensive teams, battled on the hardwood. It was even the entire way, with neither team taking a double-digit lead. George Hill hit one of two free throws with 1.4 seconds left to put the Pacers ahead by one. With one last chance, Memphis' swingman Rudy Gay banked in a 20-footer but it left his hands after time expired. The Pacers came away with an impressive 82-81 win over the Grizzlies (26-14).
The Pacers (26-16) looked to open their weeklong road trip with a win, which according to Coach Frank Vogel would help build additional confidence and belief. Playing a special matinee game on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, they connected on seven of their first 12 shots and went out in front 17-14. As the Grizzlies’ frontcourt had trouble with Indiana’s tenacious defense, Wayne Ellington came off the bench and drilled all three of his first quarter shots, including two from downtown, in just over three minutes of play. The game was especially tight early on, featuring 12 lead changes. The Grizzlies were ahead by one at the end of the first.
Indiana had difficulties getting going in the second period. They missed four shots and had two turnovers, so that's when Vogel sent David West back onto the floor. After going down five, Lance Stephenson buried a three to get the team started in what would become a 15-4 run. During that span, over six minutes, the Grizzlies had only one field goal. The blue and gold had a 43-39 edge at half.
Following five-straight points to open the half, the Pacers made mistake after mistake and that's when the Grizzlies pounced and scored 14 points in a row. During that same time, the Pacers turned it over six times, and didn't hit a shot in more than five minutes. Despite that poor stretch, D.J. Augustin and Orlando Johnson ended the third with back-to-back corner 3’s to put the Pacers back ahead 65-63.
The Pacers and Grizzlies were neck-and-neck all the way to the finish. With under a minute to play, down two, Memphis guards Tony Allen and Mike Conley each had their shot blocked by Roy Hibbert. However, they kept after the boards and loose balls, and finally on the fourth try of the same possession, Zach Randolph tied the game up with a contested layup.
So many times this season, Hill has delivered late in games for the Pacers and this time was no exception. The inbounds pass came to him with 10 seconds to go and he allowed the clock to run down before driving to the basket and being fouled by Conley. The 86 percent free throw shooter missed the first but drilled the second to give Indiana a one-point lead. Following a Memphis timeout with 1.4 seconds remaining, Rudy Gay banked in a jumper just inside the three-point line but it was too late. The clock had already expired. The Pacers escape with an 82-81 win and take the season-series against the Grizzlies.
Inside the Numbers
Four Pacers finished in double-figures led by David West's 14 points and a career-tying five blocks, all coming in the first half. George Hill scored 13, including the game-winning free throw, but he also turned the ball over eight times. Paul George nearly recorded his first triple-double. He had 12 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists.
Tyler Hansbrough was efficient off the bench, scoring nine points and pulling down eight rebounds in 12 minutes. Also, D.J. Augustin buried two big 3-pointers and dished out three assists.
Grizzlies reserve Wayne Ellington scored a game-high 17 points on 7-of-9 shooting (3-for-3 from behind the arc). Rudy Gay had 14 and Zach Randolph and Mike Conley each added 13.
With 22 assists on 34 field goals, the Pacers assisted on 65 percent of their shots.
Memphis just edged Indiana in the rebounding battle, 35-34, but outscored them in the paint by 16 in the second half and 12 for the game.
There were 19 ties and 10 lead changes. The Grizzlies outscored the Pacers in three quarters, including the fourth.
“We told our guys before this trip the other day that we need to find a way to be a quality team on the road, and this team has the best record in the league. Our guys rose to the challenge and broke the challenge and came up big. It was a great team win, a great balance. Our bench was strong and our offense is coming. Forty-nine percent against that team, one of the best defensive teams in the league, is pretty impressive. Obviously, too many turnovers but happy to get the W.” – Frank Vogel on the win
“We made a lot of plays down the stretch, some awesome plays. As a day, it was a fun game. That game was something else. Watching them scratch and claw, just happy we got the win.” – Frank Vogel
“I was prepared for the play called to go to Rudy [Gay]. I just had to make sure I didn’t let him get to his right hand. That was pretty much the time. I jammed that right hand and made him go the other way.” – Paul George on the final play
“We have confidence in Paul (George) off the top guarding just about anybody in the league. He did a good job staying down and making him (Rudy Gay) take an extra dribble. We knew Rudy was going to get that ball. I thought PG did a good job of not giving him space and making him take that extra dribble. It didn’t give him enough space, or time, to get that shot off.” – David West on the final play
Stat of the Game
The Pacers shot a season-low 55 percent from the free throw line (after four-straight games over 80 percent) but George Hill’s final try was the difference maker.
- The Pacers won both meetings this year after losing the previous five.
- Jerryd Bayless received a technical in the fourth quarter.
- It was the Pacers’ second road win this season over a +.500 team, the other being Chicago.
- Many players from both teams wore special orange Nike shoes.
- The Grizzlies celebrated their 11th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Day. NBA Hall of Famers Patrick Ewing, Elgin Baylor and NFL Hall of Famer Jim Brown were present and honored for their contributions to civil and human rights.
- The Pacers made their first appearance of the season on ESPN.
The Pacers wrap up their season-series with the Trail Blazers out in Portland on Wednesday at 10 PM EST.
Next Home Game
The Pacers return home on Wednesday, January 30 to take on the Detroit Pistons. Good seats are still available. Find Tickets »