Grizzlies Overcome Slow Start, Trick Pacers 97-89


Oct 31, 2014; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Memphis Grizzlies forward Zach Randolph (50) questions a foul call during a game against the Indiana Pacers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Memphis defeats Indiana 97-89. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The Memphis Grizzlies overcame an early deficit in their second regular season game of the season to defeat the Indiana Pacers in Indianapolis by a final score of 97-89.

Memphis displayed a lackluster brand of basketball to start the game against the Pacers on Friday night. The remainder of the first half did not get any better. The Grit ‘N’ Grind defensive initiative was not present, as Damjan Rudez hit all three of his first three shot attempts from beyond the three-point arc. The Pacers used excellent ball-movement and spacing to find open shots, and it seemed as if all players in the home white jerseys were red hot from the field. Four Pacers, including Rudez, C.J. Miles, Chris Copeland, and Donald Sloan, scored nine points each in the first half.

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  • Halfway through the second quarter, Courtney Lee, after scoring 12 points, took a nasty spill as his head collided with the Pacers’ starting center Roy Hibbert’s knee. Lee was directed to the visitors’ locker room, where he was diagnosed by Grizzlies officials with a mild concussion during halftime. He did not return.

    The second half was a different story, fortunately for the Memphis Grizzlies.

    Tayshaun Prince made his season debut by starting the second half in Lee’s absence. The Grizz began the third quarter being down 8 points at 53-45, but the deficit slowly began to increase. Instead of giving up, of course Memphis dug down low and found a heavy-hitting response in the form of Zach Randolph.

    By the midpoint of the third quarter, the Grizzlies managed to cut the deficit to a Pacers 61-58 advantage. But that was not the end of the Memphis run. The push led to a 66-63 lead, and ended as a 28-4 scoring stretch. This huge scoring span by the Grizz set up a ten-point lead that was held for the majority of the fourth quarter, which was too large for the Indiana Pacers to eliminate. The Grizzlies love to play through the post, and Z-Bo and Big Spain were up for the challenge, as always.

    Zach Randolph, after struggling in the first half with only one first-quarter point, was the star of the game– finishing with 22 points, 13 rebounds, and three steals. Mike Conley escaped a first-half slump by finishing with 17 points while Marc Gasol kept up his solid play with 20 points and six rebounds. Beno Udrih made a noticeable impact for the Grizz bench with nine points. Vince Carter had a decline in production, logging just three points in six total minutes of play.

    Although the Pacers are battling through several injuries to key players, they gave the Memphis Grizzlies a good match. They fell to the Grizz on the Halloween night as the result of a tale of two halves, with an ending score of 97-89. Indiana falls to a record of 1-1 while the Memphis Grizzlies remain undefeated at 2-0. Memphis will play the Charlotte Hornets on the road tomorrow evening. Hopefully Courtney Lee will not miss much action, but thankfully the Grizzlies have the depth at the guard positions to cope with any time Lee may miss.

    The box score, produced by ESPN, can be found here.