On their final back-to-back of the season, the Indiana Pacers went out in spectacular fashion, losing handily to the Memphis Grizzlies. Things went south early for the Pacers, who fell behind by 19 within the first seven minutes of the game. Poor shooting to start made it a quick and painless loss as the Grizzlies began at a blistering 75% pace.
The Pacers made their runs; Aaron Brooks opened up from three point range, hitting _ as part of his _ points, but any time Indiana caught a glimpse of the Grizzlies in the distance, Mike Conley and Vince Carter were there with backbreaking three point barrage. The two combined for 11 three pointers, with Conley scoring 36 and Carter 21.
Paul George woke up in the third quarter, scoring 14 of his 22, including back-to-back three pointers to cut the lead to 17 heading into the fourth. Unfortunately for the Pacers, they wouldn’t draw any closer than that as Conley continued to pour it on. In an unrelated note, Jeff Teague and Monta Ellis combined for six points.
Defensively, the Pacers were a wreck all night. Conley and Carter were fantastic, but a lack of attentiveness played a part in that happening. The Grizzlies shot just _ for the game, down from the upper 50% range for much of the night, and committed only eight turnovers. Indiana played relatively clean themselves, but the difference came in points off turnovers, with the Grizzlies dominating the matchup 21-9.
Thaddeus Young had a solid game offensively, scoring 16 on 8-12 shooting, picking up 13 rebounds for a double double effort, including six offensive rebounds. He was the only other starter in double figures with Myles Turner also struggling, scoring just nine with five rebounds and a late block.
The Pacers enter a dire situation having now lost four of five games. Not only do they have to play the next two games on the road against playoff teams, but the losses have put them into 8th place after Miami wins again to force a tie for seventh. Making matters worse, they’re now only one game up in the loss column with Chicago.
Indiana will be back in action on Friday when they head back to Canada to face the Toronto Raptors. Things didn’t go so well last time, but at 11-26 on the road, things haven’t gone too well most nights for this Indiana team. Help may be on the way, however, as they’re in the process of signing former Pacer Lance Stephenson. The Pacers desperately need a spark, and Stephenson will be the last ditch effort to stay in the postseason picture with just seven games remaining.