The Pacers visited Memphis on Wednesday night to open up preseason play for the upcoming NBA season.
New Pacer and fan favorite Darren Collison had a fantastic start. In the first 30 seconds of the game he racked up a rebound and an assist, and scored his first point as a Pacer just 45 seconds later.
The Pacers fell to the Grizzlies 85-87, but had a chance to win it at the end. The Pacers trailed by nine points with three minutes to go. They had the ball with 11 seconds remaining, only down one, but failed to get off a final shot.
The Pacers starting lineup was what most of us expected to see, and what most anticipate will be the norm for the upcoming season.
Everyone knew Darren Collison, Danny Granger, and Roy Hibbert were locks to start; the real positions to watch were shooting guard and power forward. Mike Dunleavy got the start at shooting guard, while Josh McRoberts joined the other starters at power forward. All five players started off great, showing no signs of rust.
With 4:15 to go in the first quarter, the Pacers made a full lineup change. A.J. Price, Brandon Rush, Paul George, Solomon Jones, and Jeff Foster all came in together. Foster would leave with just under two minutes left in the first quarter with an undisclosed injury. Rookie Magnum Rolle came into the game for him.
The Pacers trailed by four points at halftime, 45-41.
The third quarter went very well, as they held a five-point lead going into the fourth. Their slow start in the final quarter dug them a big hole.
Both teams held nine-point leads during the game. The Grizzlies had more turnovers, but out-rebounded the Pacers 49-35. Neither team shot well from the free-throw line, the Pacers hitting 18 of 29 attempts, while the Grizzlies only managed to make 16 of their 29 attempts. The Grizzlies shot 47 percent from the field, and the Pacers shot 38 percent.
Dahntay Jones, Brandon Rush, Lance Stephenson, and Paul George each scored four points for the blue & gold. Paul George led the team with three steals, and James Posey had three points in 15 minutes of action.
Danny Granger finished with just five points and five rebounds in 24 minutes of play. He shot just 1-9 from the field. Mike Dunleavy recorded eight points in just five minutes of work. Darren Collison finished with nine points, five assists, and two steals.
Roy Hibbert led the team with 18 points, 10 rebounds, two assists, and two blocks. He also led the team with the most minutes played, at 30.
Two players put on great performances, as Josh McRoberts tallied 14 points, seven rebounds, four assists, two steals, and a block. A.J. Price also did some damage for the blue & gold, but he did his work off the bench. He finished with 12 points and two steals in 15 minutes of action.
The Pacers will return home for their next preseason game against the Orlando Magic on Friday, which tips off at 7 pm at Conseco Fieldhouse.