Grizzlies 121, Pacers 110

The Indiana Pacers are showing signs of falling apart. They just

hope their injured players heal and their morale improves before

it’s too late.

Rudy Gay scored 31 points to lead the Memphis Grizzlies over

Indiana 121-110 on Wednesday night, the Pacers’ eighth straight

loss. Zach Randolph had 28 points and 13 rebounds, and Marc Gasol

added 21 points and 10 boards for the Grizzlies.

Indiana already have been missing 2009 All-Star Danny Granger

and center Jeff Foster due to injuries. The Pacers played the

Grizzlies without forward Troy Murphy because of a sprained ankle

and Tyler Hansbrough because of an inner-ear infection.

Forward Dahntay Jones said there’s more to the problems than

just injuries.

“We have to assess ourselves and be honest,” he said.

“Certain people are not fighting as hard as others. We have to

find a way to bring it every night.”

Jones said the team needs to get fresh attitudes to go with

fresh bodies.

“Chemistry is a problem right now, but we’ve got to find five

guys to play hard together on a consistent basis.”

The injuries have made it difficult for the Pacers to find a


“We’ve got to find a way to get on the same page,” said Pacers

guard Luther Head, who tied a career high with 30 points. “I think

we are going to do that when everybody gets healthy.”

Memphis improved to 9-4 in December. Grizzlies coach Lionel

Hollins said he doesn’t take any victory for granted.

“They’re struggling right now, especially with health issues,”

Hollins said. “We’re happy to get away with a win. We want to keep

getting better and play as well as we can, regardless of the


The Pacers had struggled on offense in recent games, but this

time struggled to defend. Memphis shot 51 percent from the field

and outscored the Pacers 29-17 from the free throw line. Roy

Hibbert scored a career-best 25 points and grabbed 13 rebounds, and

Brandon Rush added 15 points for Indiana.

Memphis point guard Jamaal Tinsley made this loss more bitter

for the fans in his first game in Indiana since the Pacers waived

him this past summer.

Tinsley started his pro career with Indiana in 2001 and remained

with the Pacers until July. He left the franchise with career

averages of 10.4 points and 7.0 assists, but was better known for

being injured or in legal trouble during his stay. The Pacers told

him not to report to training camp last season and did not allow

him to play. The NBA players’ union filed a grievance for him in

February, but the arbitration hearing was canceled when the Pacers

waived him.

Pacers fans who remembered showered him with boos when he

entered the game late in the first quarter. He scored three points

in 15 minutes for Memphis.

Tinsley expected a rude reception.

“It was like that when I was here,” he said before the game.

“I’ll play through it. They can’t break me. At the end of the day,

I go out there and do my job.”

Tinsley shook off the crowd’s response and made his first shot,

a 3-pointer that got a friendly bounce with 10 minutes left in the

second quarter. It was the only field goal he made.

Memphis led 68-51 at halftime and extended its lead to 20 points

before the Pacers cut their deficit to 84-70 in the third quarter.

The Grizzlies regrouped and led 93-79 at the end of the period,

despite Hibbert’s 12-point quarter.

Head made back-to-back 3-pointers to cut Memphis’ lead to

111-101 with just over 4 minutes to play, but the Pacers never

trimmed their deficit below 10 points.

Head, who scored 15 points in the fourth quarter, said the team

consistently has found ways to break down early.

“We dig ourselves so big of a hole that when we start making a

run, it’s too little, too late.”

Pacers coach Jim O’Brien acknowledged that things aren’t going


“Guys are disappointed,” he said. “The whole organization is

disappointed with where we are right now.”

NOTES: The Pacers shot 62 percent in the first quarter and still

trailed 35-29 at the end of the period. … The Pacers had only 10

available players. … Pacers F Solomon Jones scored four points in

13 minutes in his second start. … Indianapolis native Mike Conley

had 13 points and seven assists for the Grizzlies. … Memphis

improved to 13-7 when Tinsley plays.