Monday night the Grizzlies went to Indianapolis to take on the Indiana Pacers. The Pacers came into the game without a loss, and Memphis came in at 3-3, but coming off of a big home win Saturday night against the Golden State Warriors. The Grizzlies and Pacers both hoped to continue their recent success. Indiana had control of the game pretty much from the opening tip. The Pacers’ lead hovered around 10 points for most of the first half, but it felt like much moor because of the Pacers good defense and the horrible shooting from the Grizzlies. The Pacers took complete control of the game in the third quarter, and crushed any chance the Grizzlies had of getting back into the game.
The Grizzlies played a very physical game against the Pacers. The Grizzlies lost by 16 points, but they played decent defense and did a good job limiting the turnovers. The Grizzlies shot poorly all night, and they struggled on the glass. The Grizzlies shot 41% from the field, and only scored 79 points. The Grizz got really good looks, but they just could not get them to fall. Coach Joerger decided to use a bigger rotation tonight than he did Saturday. Everyone except for John Leur got playing time (Jarryd Bayless didn’t play because of a knee injury). The shorter rotation worked Saturday, but this longer rotation has not looked good so far this year. Marc Gasol was the Grizzlies’s leading scorer with 15 points, and was 5/13 from the field. Zbo and Conley also ended the game with double figures.
The Pacers played very physical defense, and cleaned the offensive glass all night. The Pacers held the Grizz to 41% from the field, and they pulled down 9 offensive boards. The Pacers were led by Lance “Born Ready” Stephenson” who had a triple-double. Stephenson had 13 points, 12 assists, and 11 rebounds. Stephenson was 5/11 from the field, and 3/5 from the three point line. Luis Scola also had a nice game for Indiana. Scola finished with 12 points and 4 rebounds. Paul George was quiet in the first half, but he came alive after halftime and ended up scoring 23 points and going 9/16 from the field. The Pacers played great defense and pretty good offense. The Pacers defense is good enough to win most of the time when they put up 95 points.
Tonight is not a night that Grizzlies fan want to remember. The Grizzlies played very poorly offensively, and the Pacers are just a solid team. The Pacers remain unbeaten while Memphis falls to 3-4. The Grizzlies’ next game is Wednesday night at home against the Toronto Raptors. Wednesday will be the first time Rudy Gay has returned to Memphis since being traded last year. It will be interesting to hear the crowd’s reaction when he is announced for the first time. The Grizzlies really need a win against the Raptors before they head out on their first west coast trip of the season. (all stats are from nba.com)