Game Rewind: Pacers 111, Grizzlies 83

Game Recap

The Indiana Pacers have high hopes for the 2018-19 season. Wednesday's season opener provided plenty of reasons for optimism, as the Pacers (1-0) raced out to an early lead and cruised to a 111-83 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies (0-1) on Opening Night presented by Kroger at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

The new campaign couldn't have started much better for the Pacers.

The Blue & Gold got solid contributions from returning stars (16 points, five rebounds, and five assists for All-Star guard Victor Oladipo) and new additions (14 points, four boards, and six dimes from free agent acquisition Tyreke Evans).

They got solid production from starters (19 points for Bojan Bogdanovic, 10 points and eight rebounds from Thaddeus Young) and key reserves (14 points and 15 boards from Domantas Sabonis, 11 points and six rebounds from Cory Joseph).

In all, seven Pacers players finished in double figures and the Blue & Gold held Memphis to just 29.8 percent shooting in a dominant performance.

"It was Opening Night, I think everybody was juiced up and ready to go," said starting center Myles Turner, who had a solid game himself with eight points, eight rebounds, and four blocks. "(We were) just flying around and had each other's back."

Both teams appeared to have Opening Night jitters at the start of Wednesday's contest, as each offense sputtered out of the gates. The Pacers, however, found a rhythm midway through the quarter.

Indiana reeled off seven successive points to open up a 15-8 lead. The second unit provided a nice spark from there, with Sabonis and Evans attacking the paint to help Indiana take a 27-16 advantage by the end of the frame.

The bench picked up where it left off to start the second quarter. Indiana's suffocating defense held Memphis without a field goal for nearly five minutes, allowing the Blue & Gold to put together a 13-0 run and open up a 23-point lead.

"This is a unit that was really good last year with some different pieces," said newcomer Doug McDermott, who chipped in 12 points off the bench. "We've been trying to click in training camp and we're starting to learn each other's game.

"We feel like we have a great second unit. We can build off what the first unit does and we're going to try to do that all year."

Overall, the Pacers held the Grizzlies to just 37.2 percent shooting in the first half and took a 56-37 lead into the break. Oladipo then scored eight of his 16 points in the third quarter to help Indiana keep the visitors at bay.

The Pacers took a 76-58 lead into the fourth quarter. A lineup consisting of Young and four reserves opened the final frame with a 12-3 run to put this one on ice.

Bogdanovic hit his first six shots and finished the night 7-for-9 from the field and 3-for-3 from 3-point range to lead a balanced effort by the Blue & Gold.

"We are deep this season," Bogdanovic said. "We've got eight or nine starters on our team. That will really help us through the whole season."

Marc Gasol scored all of his team-high 13 points for Memphis after halftime, but was just 2-for-11 from the field. Garrett Temple added 12 points and Mike Conley scored 11 for Memphis, but that duo went a combined 7-for-24.

Indiana heads to Milwaukee for a Central Division showdown with the Bucks on Friday night at 8:30 PM ET. They'll be back at The Fieldhouse a night later to host the Brooklyn Nets at 7:00 PM ET.

Victor Oladipo

Photo Credit: NBAE/Getty Images

Inside the Numbers

Indiana dominated inside all night, outscoring the Grizzlies 60-16 in the paint.

According to Basketball Reference, Wednesday's game was just the fourth time the Pacers have held an opponent under 30 percent shooting since the 1983-84 season and the first time they accomplished the feat since limiting Portland to just a .258 field goal percentage in a 101-69 win on Feb. 8, 2006.

On the other end, the Pacers shot 56.6 percent from the field and were 10-of-26 (38.5 percent) from 3-point range.

Sabonis recorded the first double-double of the season and came one rebound shy of matching his career high, set last Halloween against Sacramento.

The Pacers did struggle to take care of the ball at times on Wednesday night, committing 20 turnovers and only forcing the Grizzlies into seven.

Oladipo did not have a steal on Wednesday, snapping a streak of 64 regular season games with at least one steal that dated back to Nov. 8 of last season.

You Can Quote Me On That

"I thought defensively we were really good…I thought every guy that went out on the floor played hard. We had a lot of different combinations because of some injuries and some fouls, but you really couldn't tell the difference. The intensity didn’t drop off on the defensive end of the floor." -Pacers head coach Nate McMillan

"I feel like we were really excited to come out and play in front of our fans. The arena…It's the fans that get us going every night. It was just awesome to be back home." -Sabonis

"The second unit is good. Very good. If they can continue to keep getting better and get the rookies to do the same and we continue that connection and there is no drop-off when they get in the game, that'll be really special. We just have to keep getting better." -Oladipo

"It was a team effort tonight. I think we came together well. We guarded the pick-and-roll and kept them out of the paint. I think they only had 15 or 16 points in the paint. That’s just a sign of great team defense." -Turner

"They dominated the paint, rebounding, offensively as well, they scored way too many points. We have to do a better job defensively. I've got to do better for the team and I've got to set a tone for them." -Gasol

"They really dominated the glass tonight. You can’t win against anybody especially a good team if you don't finish off possessions and get the ball going the other way. We were having to exert too much energy having to reset clocks and that takes away from our offense." -Conley

Domantas Sabonis

Photo Credit: NBAE/Getty Images

Stat of the Night

The Pacers talked all training camp about wanting to be a better rebounding team, then delivered in emphatic fashion on Wednesday, outrebounding Memphis 57-28 overall and 13-7 on the offensive glass.


  • Second-year Pacers forward TJ Leaf sprained his left ankle in the first quarter and did not return.
  • Aaron Holiday, the 23rd overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, made his debut in the fourth quarter and banked in a three.
  • Second-year forwards Ike Anigbogu and Ben Moore and rookie Alize Johnson were inactive on Wednesday.
  • The Pacers have won three straight and seven of their last eight season openers.
  • New PA announcer Tim Sinclair made his debut on Wednesday.

Up Next

Indiana heads to Milwaukee on Friday night to take on Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks at 8:30 PM ET.


The Pacers return home to host the Brooklyn Nets on Saturday, Oct. 20 at 7:00 PM ET. Find Tickets »