Game Rewind: Pacers 97, Grizzlies 110

Game Recap

The Pacers' final back-to-back of the 2016-17 season ended in a disappointing fashion. A night after a last-second home loss to Minnesota, Indiana (37-38) fell to the Grizzlies (41-34) on Wednesday evening in Memphis, 110-97.

The loss dropped the Pacers below .500 for the first time since Jan. 3 and into a tie for seventh place in the Eastern Conference standings with Miami, who won earlier in the night in New York. The Heat own the head-to-head tiebreaker over Indiana, so the Blue & Gold would be the eighth and final seed in the playoffs if the season ended today.

With seven games left in the regular season, the Pacers are now two games back of Atlanta and Milwaukee (both of whom won on Wednesday) and just a game and a half ahead of ninth-place Chicago.

"It's very frustrating," Pacers forward Paul George said about the team's recent slide down the standings.

Indianapolis native Mike Conley got Memphis off to fast start. The former Lawrence North star knocked down a couple 3-pointers during a 12-0 run by the Grizzlies to open up a 26-7 lead just seven minutes into the game.

All told, the Grizzlies connected on 13 of their first 17 shots — including five of their first seven attempts from beyond the arc — and led by as many as 20 in the opening quarter. Conley alone registered 16 points in the frame, going 6-for-7 from the field and 4-for-4 from long range, as Memphis took a 38-24 lead into the second period.

"They did what you would expect a team to do (against a team) coming off of a back-to-back," Pacers head coach Nate McMillan said. "They got off to a fast start and Conley was pushing the ball...We (weren't) able to keep up with him and he kept the pressure on us throughout the game."

The Pacers, however, managed to climb back into the game thanks to their own sharpshooting point guard. Aaron Brooks knocked down his first four 3-point attempts off the bench, providing the Blue & Gold with a much-needed spark.

Indiana used a 10-0 run over the end of the first and beginning of the second quarters to trim the deficit to nine, but Memphis later answered with a 15-4 run of their own to push the lead back to 21.

The Grizzlies made 10 3-pointers as a team in the first half and took a 72-53 lead into the break.

The Pacers never seriously threatened after halftime. Memphis extended its lead to as many as 25 points in the third quarter. The lone highlight for Indiana in the period came on George's long buzzer-beating three that made it 96-79 heading into the fourth.

With the game well at hand, both teams emptied their benches midway through the final frame. With the win, the Grizzlies snapped a four-game skid.

George led the Pacers with 22 points in the loss on 8-of-17 shooting. Brooks added 18 points off the bench, while Memphis native Thaddeus Young (16 points and 13 rebounds) recorded a double-double against his hometown team.

Conley led all scorers with 36 points, going 13-for-21 from the field and 7-for-12 from beyond the arc. Vince Carter went 4-for-6 from 3-point range on his way to 21 points and eight rebounds, while Marion native Zach Randolph chipped in 17 points and six boards off the bench.

The Pacers continue their road trip with games on Friday night in Toronto and on Sunday evening in Cleveland.

"With our remaining games, the schedule doesn't get any easier," McMillan said. "The teams that we're facing from here on out are playoff teams and they're fighting for something. So it's on us. We've just got to find a way to dig deep and put fatigue behind us."

Inside the Numbers

Brooks' four 3-pointers are his most in a single game in a Pacers uniform. He had made three on three occasions, most recently last Friday vs. Denver.

C.J. Miles chipped in 15 points off the bench, going 5-for-11 from the field and 3-for-7 from 3-point range, as Indiana's bench outscored Memphis' reserves, 44-26.

Conley's 36 points were two shy of his career high, set earlier this season in a win at Phoenix on Jan. 30. His seven 3-pointers matched his career best. He had accomplished that feat three times prior to Wednesday.

Carter, the oldest active player in the NBA (he turned 40 on Jan. 26) scored over 20 points for the fourth time this season. With his 16th point of the night, Carter moved past Ray Allen for 22nd place on the NBA's all-time scoring list.

The Pacers never led all night, the fourth game this season where they have failed to ever hold a lead.

You Can Quote Me On That

"I think it was a lack of energy. A lack of energy. We were supposed to come out here and make the game tough, but to start the game off, they kind of did what they wanted to do and it showed. They got hot, and there's no way of cooling them down." -George on the Pacers' slow start

"72 points in the half, that’s a lot of points. I think they average about 100 [points per game]. They came out trying to run us tonight and they did a good job establishing that in the first half." -McMillan

"We played a lot harder at home. We were physical. We pressured up. We made him uncomfortable all night. Tonight, it was the exact opposite. We allowed him to kind of orchestrate the whole offense, and he got comfortable early, and he’s a flame thrower. Once he gets hot, it's over." -George on the team defense against Conley

"My mindset was it was a must win and I just wanted to make a statement not with my team, with just the coaches and the city, that we're not playing the basketball we need to be playing right now and we are better than this." -Conley

"Since post All-Star [Game], he's been killing it. I know our record doesn't necessarily display him killing it. I know he doesn't care about the individual numbers, but you can see it. He's turning it up a notch. You know me, I love it. When I look at this score sheet and see this kind of box score from Mike Conley, I get excited to see that." -Grizzlies head coach David Fizdale on Conley's performance

Stat of the Night

Including Wednesday's loss, the Pacers finished the season 0-8 when playing on the road on the second night of a back-to-back.


  • The Pacers are 25-17 all-time against the Grizzlies, but just 4-12 in Memphis. They have lost four straight regular season games at FedEx Forum.
  • Earlier on Wednesday, Indiana waived guard Rodney Stuckey. On Tuesday, the team had announced Stuckey would miss 4-6 weeks with a left patellar tendon strain, meaning he likely would not be available until the second round of the playoffs, should the Pacers advance that far.
  • Grizzlies All-Star center Marc Gasol missed his third straight game with strained left foot. Starting power forward JaMychal Green also did not play due to left shoulder soreness.

Up Next

The Pacers travel to Toronto to take on the Raptors on Friday, March 31 at 7:00 PM ET.


After a three-game road trip, the Pacers will return to Bankers Life Fieldhouse to host the Toronto Raptors on Tuesday, April 4 at 7:00 PM ET. That night will also be the 2010s Decade Game and all fans in attendance will receive a bobblehead of All-Star forward Paul George. Find Tickets »