Game Rewind: Pacers 116, Grizzlies 113

Game Recap

Coming off a disappointing 23-point home loss to the Houston Rockets on Sunday, Pacers head coach Nate McMillan said he wanted to see his team play at a faster pace than they have displayed in recent weeks.

The Pacers took that lesson to heart, controlling the tempo virtually all of Wednesday night in Memphis against the NBA's slowest team, as Indiana (7-8) raced out to an early lead and withstood a fourth-quarter rally to hold on for a 116-113 win over the Grizzlies (7-7).

Indiana never trailed on Wednesday and led by as many as 17 points in the fourth quarter before the Grizzlies rallied. A Chandler Parsons 3-pointer and a driving layup by Tyreke Evans on consecutive possessions made it a 112-108 game in the closing minutes, but Darren Collison knocked down a jumper with 1:51 to play to push the lead back to six.

Mario Chalmers answered with a runner on the other end and after Victor Oladipo missed a contested 3-pointer, Evans drove and dished to Brandan Wright for what looked like an easy dunk to trim the deficit to two points. But third-year center Myles Turner came out of seemingly nowhere to swat away the attempt and thwart Memphis' rally.

Still, the Grizzlies had one last chance in the closing seconds, after a Bojan Bogdanovic turnover on the baseline with 9.1 seconds remaining. Marc Gasol got a clean look, but his 3-pointer clanged off the back iron.

"I actually thought it was good," Collison said after the game. "I was preparing to go overtime because he makes those shots, especially at the top of the key."

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Six Pacers players scored in double figures in the victory, led by Collison, who exploded for a season-high 30 points, going 8-for-13 from the field and 12-for-13 from the free throw line, and dished out eight of Indiana's 29 assists.

Prior to Wednesday, Collison had scored in double figures in just two of his past six contests while dealing with lingering knee soreness.

"I thought he did a solid job of making reads," McMillan said of Collison's performance. "When the defense gave him opportunities, he took advantage of those opportunities and knocked down shots.

"It starts with him, as far as establishing our tempo. We talked about playing faster. Tonight, I thought we got out and did that."

The Grizzlies were dealt a blow a couple hours before tipoff, when it was announced that star point guard Mike Conley would not play against his hometown Pacers due to a sore left Achilles. The former Lawrence North High School standout's injury is not believed to be a long-term issue, but Memphis elected to rest him on Wednesday as a precaution.

The Pacers jumped in front early, opening the game with a 19-8 run. The Grizzlies responded, establishing their low-post attack with their All-Star center Gasol, who scored 12 points in the first quarter. But Indiana was able to keep the hosts at bay, knocking down 5-of-8 shots from 3-point range in the opening frame to take a 35-24 lead.

The Blue & Gold kept rolling in the second quarter. A 9-2 run midway through the period — capped by an emphatic dunk from Domantas Sabonis off a dish from Lance Stephenson — pushed the Pacers' lead to 14.

The Pacers kept their foot on the pedal right up until halftime, as Oladipo's buzzer-beating runner gave the visitors a 67-53 lead heading into the break.

"This is how we (were) playing in the beginning (of the season)," Collison said. "This is how we've got to play all the time. We've been kind of playing slow the last three or four games and we talked about ways that we could play faster.

"We just played, got out, had some easy opportunities in transition."

Memphis made a run almost right out of the gates to start the third quarter, using an 11-2 spurt to trim the deficit to seven less than two minutes into the second half.

But the Pacers again weathered the storm. Oladipo knocked down back-to-back jumpers to push the lead back to double digits and the visitors maintained at least that margin the rest of the frame, taking a 97-84 lead into the fourth quarter.

The Grizzlies had one last run in them, though. Wright's fastbreak dunk with 6:52 to play capped an 8-0 run and trimmed the deficit to nine, forcing McMillan to call timeout.

Memphis added two more points on a Chalmers jumper and had numerous chances to get closer, but failed to convert. Bogdanovic's corner three with 4:39 remaining finally broke 5:02 scoreless stretch for Indiana, setting the stage for a wild closing stretch.

"We fought through some things in that fourth quarter," McMillan said. "I thought we played three really solid quarters of basketball."

Oladipo finished with 21 points and six rebounds for Indiana, while Bogdanovic added 16 points while going 4-for-6 from 3-point range. Sabonis (13 points, six rebounds, and four assists), Turner (10 points, five rebounds, four assists, and three blocks), and Cory Joseph (10 points and four assists) all also reached double figures.

Gasol was dominant in the loss for Memphis, tallying 35 points, 13 rebounds, five assists, and five blocks. Evans added 18 points, six rebounds, and nine assists off the bench in the loss.

After flying home to Indianapolis, the Pacers will host the Detroit Pistons at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Friday,
Nov. 17 at 7:00 PM ET.

Inside the Numbers

The Pacers racked up 29 assists on Wednesday — 19 of them coming in the first half. It was the most assists for Indiana in a game since they dished out a season-best 35 in a win at Cleveland on Nov. 1.

Five players had at least four assists in Wednesday's win. Collison led the way with eight and Lance Stephenson had five, while Turner, Sabonis, and Joseph each dished out four.

Memphis outscored Indiana 64-36 in the paint, setting a new high for a Pacers opponent in that category.

Gasol's 35 points and five blocks were both season highs, while his 13 rebounds were just one shy of matching his season best.

The Blue & Gold scored 19 points off 15 Grizzlies turnovers. Memphis, conversely, managed just seven points off of 12 Pacers giveaways.

You Can Quote Me On That

"That's a winning play. That's what I am talking about as far as defensively getting stops and making plays to give ourselves a chance to win. That was a huge blocked shot. And also he had a huge play on the offensive end when he kicked the ball to the corner to Bojan (Bogdanovic) for the three." -McMillan on Turner's late block on Wright

"I don't want to make any excuses but today was the first day that my knee actually felt great. It's something that's been affecting me the last week and a half. It's actually been hurting but I want to be there for my teammates at full strength. We're all banged up but it's something that was really bothering me. (Head Athletic Trainer) Josh Corbeil did an amazing job and I told him today that it's the first day my knee felt good since the beginning." -Collison on his knee pain

"We've got to do a better job at sustaining the lead down the stretch. For the most part I thought we played pretty well on the defensive end. They kind of went on a little run there in the second half, we've got to do a little bit better there. Some good things today that we can really build off of. We've just got to continue to get better to correct what needs to be corrected." -Oladipo

"We drew that up just to try to get a clean look. Hey, we'll take it, our stud taking a wide open three, even though it was a deep shot. But he makes those all the time, so I'll take it." -Fizdale on Gasol's shot on the game's final possession

"I think we need to come out with a hit-first mentality. Sometimes we tiptoe into games and we have to start with that defensive edge and set the tone early. We just haven't been doing that." -Parsons

Stat of the Night

Collison's 30 points were five more than his season high (set on Nov. 1 in Cleveland) and matched his most ever in a Pacers uniform. He also scored 30 in Los Angeles against the Clippers on Jan. 17, 2011.


  • The Pacers snapped a four-game losing streak in Memphis on Wednesday, picking up their first win in FedExForum since Jan. 21, 2013.
  • Memphis is 0-4 on the year against Eastern Conference teams and 7-3 against teams from the West.
  • Stephenson and Grizzlies guard Ben McLemore were both assessed technical fouls after exchanging shoves with 8:11 left in the fourth quarter.
  • Pacers rookie center Ike Anigbogu did not travel with the team to Memphis and was assigned to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants in the NBA G League on Wednesday morning.

Up Next

Indiana returns home to face Andre Drummond and the Detroit Pistons on Friday night at 7:00 PM ET. Friday is the first Hickory Night game of the season and the Pacers will honor the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame and the city of New Castle. Find Tickets »