Indiana Pacers (26-16) 82
Memphis Grizzlies (26-14) 81
Could that game have been any tighter? I said on twitter, first one to 90 wins. But at the rate, these teams were going, it might as well have been first one to 80. The Pacers grind out a win, and got a much needed road win after not looking so hot there. Now they’ll head out West for three more games on the road and finally show up back in Indy for a home date against the Detroit Pistons on January 30th.
I think it’s key to get that first win on the road under the belt, and build up some momentum. With this team as close as they are, it should be a good road trip to get even closer with each other, and really work through some tough games that could help in the long run. Today’s game gave a good glimpse to the national audience of ESPN what the Pacers are all about. Defense and playing tough are two aspects of the Pacers that people saw. But they also saw those two aspects from the Grizzlies in a drag out fight. These two teams were about as evenly matched as you could get. A lead of 6 points felt like a double digit lead with the way the defenses were playing.
The Pacers actually shot pretty decent in this game almost at 50% from the field and made 8 three pointers, but still come away with the one point victory. They had a chance to build an actual double digit lead, but the Grizzlies battled all the way back and get their own lead. It was quite a game of runs, ties, and lead changes. Paul George gets the player of the game honors with his almost triple double of 12 points, 10 rebounds, and 9 assists. While not the highest scoring game going, George was still the stat stuffer he’s been over the past couple of months.
George Hill gets the go ahead winner with a late free throw after missing the first throw that could have helped seal the deal better. But it was that Pacers’ defense that steps up with 1.4 seconds left, and doesn’t allow Rudy Gay to get the shot off in time that actually went in. They make it off the floor as quickly as possible and now head to Portland for another meeting with the Blazers.