Pacers held to season low in 82-71 loss to Grizzlies
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Mike Conley scored 21 points, Zach Randolph added 18 points and 13 rebounds, and the Memphis Grizzlies held the Indiana Pacers to their lowest output of the season in an 82-71 victory on Saturday night.
Mike Miller added 13 points as Memphis won for the seventh time in nine games and is a game ahead of Phoenix for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. Marc Gasol, returning after spraining his ankle Friday night, had 10 points and nine rebounds.
Lance Stephenson led the Pacers with 15 points and eight rebounds, while David West added 10 points, but was 5 of 15 from the field.
Paul George, the Pacers’ leading scorer at 22.1 points per game, was held to eight points, missing eight of his 10 shots, and Indiana shot 37 percent for the game.
Indiana, which allows a league-low 35.4 points per game in the paint, surrendered 46 to Memphis, which also outrebounded Indiana 47-35.
The Pacers’ only lead in the game came at 3-2.
Memphis, which built a double-digit lead in the first half, maintained the advantage through the third period as the Pacers seemed to be dragging.
Randolph scored eight points and had four rebounds in the third as Memphis stretched the lead to 64-49 heading into the fourth.
The Pacers shooting didn’t improve much. Through three periods, Indiana was still under 35 percent, and George had been limited to only seven shots and six points.
Memphis continued to maintain the double-digit lead, keeping the Pacers down 10 to 14 points the rest of the way.
As was expected with two of the best defensive teams in the league, the first half was a low scoring affair despite Memphis shooting 46 percent. The Pacers were at 32 percent.
The bulk of Memphis’ offense came from Conley early and Miller in the second quarter. Miller connected on four of his first five shots in the second, all of them from outside the arc, for 13 points at the break. Coupled with 11 from Conley, who was 5 of 7, Memphis held its biggest lead of the half 43-30 at intermission.
No Pacers were in double figures as Indiana was 12 of 37, including 3 of 10 from West. George Hill missed all four of his shots in the half.
NOTES: Pacers C Andrew Bynum remained inactive for the fourth game with swelling and soreness in his right knee. Memphis was playing the second game of a back-to-back against the top two teams in the East. The Grizzlies lost Friday night at Miami 91-86. Gasol had an MRI earlier Saturday, revealing a Grade 1 left ankle sprain suffered in Friday night’s loss. .The previous low for points in a game for Indiana was 73 against Dallas on Feb. 12. … Indiana’s three-game win streak against the Grizzlies was snapped.