After the starting unit struggled to gain any traction in the first quarter, but the reserve unit came to the rescue with a 4-0 run to close the quarter and then a strong stretch to open the second quarter which helped the Pacers take control of the game and eventually, a 61-49 lead at the half.
Rakeem Christmas sparked the second quarter run, playing his first meaningful minutes of the season, ending the half with 4 points, 4 rebounds and a block but teaming with Lavoy Allen to control the action around the rim. Allen added 8 points and 9 rebounds in the first half. Monta Ellis also added 14 points in 14 minutes before the half.
The starting unit, with Thad Young and C.J. Miles back in the mix, expanded the lead to 27 points in the third quarter. Miles hit a pair of threes and Jeff Teague added another as the two scored 13 of the team’s 28 points in the quarter.
Fortunately, the Pacers outscored the Grizz, 64-42 between the second and third quarters because they had to hold on throughout the fourth quarter to secure the win after scoring just 13 fourth quarter points.
But no one cares how the game finished, only that the losing streak is over and the Pacers found a little boost from an unlikely source in Christmas.
- Christmas did have three fouls in 14 minutes which has been an issue for him in Fort Wayne.
- Lavoy Allen finished the game with a 10-10 double-double.
- Al Jefferson was a late scratch due to dental pain which opened up the opportunity for Christmas to play.
- Paul George finished with 9 points and 9 rebounds, making just 3 of 12 shots, but getting his teammates involved with 4 assists. Paul left the floor late in the game with a leg injury which appeared to be a cramp. Hopefully!!!
- C.J. Miles led all scorers for the Pacers with 17 points thanks to five threes.
- Jeff Teague didn’t score until late in the second quarter but finished the game with 10 points and 10 assists.
- Thaddeus Young returned after missing the last eight games, scoring 10 points and more importantly helping to level out the playing rotation.
- Mike Conley had 10 points and 7 assists and Zach Randolph added 11 points and 8 rebounds for Memphis as the two Indiana ballers returned to the Fieldhouse where they both enjoyed winning state championships in high school.