Not that Memphis didn’t play well, but Indiana was the better squad for the first three quarters. The Pacers couldn’t hit a free throw to save their lives, however, so they could never get a lead. They only made 11-for-21 at the line in the first half and it kept the Grizzlies right there. As Pacers media director David Benner noted, the score was knotted at the end of each quarter heading into the fourth. “Been around NBA 26 years and can’t recall game being tied at 1st quarter (22-22), half (47-47) and 3rd quarter (73-73).”
Danny Granger bemoaned his team’s free-throw shooting after the game.
“We execute our offense and we want to get fouled. We should have been up going into the half. We kind of shot ourselves in the foot.”
Then, as tends to happen, came the fourth quarter. During which the Pacers switched it up: they couldn’t make a shot from the field to save their lives. They were 5-for-20 from the field at their worst point and that was understandably not enough to win a game that featured 18 lead changes and 17 ties.
Rudy Gay stepped up big, hitting some improbable shots in the second half. Marresse Speights got his brolic on. The Pacers continually got beat back-door. And when the Pacer needed some hoops late inside, Marc Gasol played impeccable defense.
|David West – 32 MIN | 8-13 FG | 6-10 FT | 13 REB | 22 PTS |
Game and season-high in points. Sucks he missed a jumper that could have tied it at 89 and that he clanged 4 FTAs, but hard to find much wrong with his game last night.
|Danny Granger - 31 MIN | 7-15 FG | 1-2 FT | 4 REB | 5 PF | 19 PTS |
His best 3-pt shooting night of the year but got smoked backdoor several times — the worst being Tony Allen’s easy layup when Indy trailed 89-87 with under 2 mins. Was in foul trouble the whole 2nd half.
|Roy Hibbert - 31 MIN | 1-7 FG | 3-6 FT | 7 REB | 1 AST | 5 PTS |
Didn’t exactly convince the world he should be on an All-Star team. Marc Gasol sure did though, swatting Roy on one end then driving by him at the other in the clutch.
|Darren Collison - 39 MIN | 4-8 FG | 0-1 FT | 1 REB | 5 AST | 9 PTS |
Nothing specific but wasn’t impressed. Defending the pick-and-roll poorly. Let Conley get in a rhythm. 4th quarter offense was all sorts of out of sorts.
|Paul George - 34 MIN | 2-13 FG | 4-4 FT | 10 REB | 2 AST | 8 PTS |
Another gross night shooting. Did nice work on the glass, including one critical board in traffic to give his team a chance to tie with 2 mins left. Nearly had another a minute later but a bad bounce left him unsuccessfully chasing it out of bounds.
|Jeff Foster - 13 MIN | 2-3 FG | 2-2 FT | 7 REB | 6 PTS |
A welcome sight and appeared to be a key reason the second unit offense looked more fluid. Had one stellar interior passing exchange with Hansbrough. Although Tyler missed then Jeff missed the putback.
|Dahntay Jones - 18 MIN | 1-3 FG | 7-8 FT | 2 AST | 10 PTS |
Beast off the bench. Drew two FTs and then hit a 3 on back-to-back Indy possessions mid-way through the 4th quarter to cut a 7-point Memphis lead to 2. Vogel might have been better off keeping Granger on the bench.
|A.J. Price – 9 MIN | 1-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 1 AST | 2 PTS |
Still shot poorly but looked better than he has lately. His one bucket was on a pretty play in a two-man game with Hansbrough. He passed it down low then flared to the baseline for the return pass and stuck an open J.
|Tyler Hansbrough – 20 MIN | 2-7 FG | 3-4 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 7 PTS |
Back to his bad ways production-wise although he did look better out there while not really accomplishing much other than having “a way of getting under your skin,” as one Grizzly announcer termed it.
|Lance Stephenson - 13 MIN | 2-4 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 4 PTS |
Played well. Which is becoming the norm.