MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Rudy Gay scored 12 points and O. J. Mayo added 11 to lead the Memphis Grizzlies to an 87-85 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday night in the preseason opener for both teams.
Hasheem Thabeet added 10 points and five rebounds for Memphis.
Roy Hibbert led the Pacers with 18 points and 10 rebounds, while Josh McRoberts added 14 points and seven rebounds. A.J. Price finished with 12 points.
Hibbert’s tip-in with 44.7 seconds left pulled Indiana within 86-85. But Memphis rookie Xavier Henry hit one of two free throws with 0.4 seconds left to seal the Memphis victory.
“We’re a work in progress,” Gay said. “We did pretty good. Closed the game pretty good, but we turned the ball over a lot.
“It’s the first game. We have to take care of those urges. Everybody wants to go out there and do their best, but you have to pick and choose your spots.”
Memphis scored the first six points of the fourth quarter to erase an Indiana lead, then used scoring from Sam Young and Henry (six points), the 12th overall pick, to extend the advantage to 86-77.
Memphis was able to hang on despite Hibbert scoring five points in the final 3:06.
“I think I could have played stronger,” Hibbert said, later adding: “I was really nervous before the game, and (it’s good) to get the first one out of the way.”
Both teams shuffled their starters out midway through the first quarter, and in true preseason form with reserves, things got a bit sloppy. Turnovers, offensive miscues, fouls and shot attempts late in the 24-second clock were common.
That uncontrolled trend would continue through the half and wasn’t limited to the bench, as Memphis committed 16 turnovers to the Pacers 12 in the first half.
Memphis finished with 30 turnovers, while the Pacers had 21.
“We need to slow down,” said Memphis point guard Mike Conley, who had six points and seven assists. “We turned the ball over way too much because we were moving too fast. The game isn’t that fast, and you have to be able to slow it down.”
The Grizzlies carried a 45-41 lead into the locker room behind 10 points from Thabeet, who hit all three of his shots from the field.
That was all he managed before fouling out late in the third quarter without taking another shot.
The Pacers got eight points each from McRoberts and Hibbert in the third quarter to build a 69-64 lead entering the fourth.
“I’m sure we did some good things, and there are things we can study like turnovers and really feeding the post, tempo,” Pacers coach Jim O’Brien said. “We didn’t do the things that we practiced, but we will clean them up.”
NOTES: The Grizzlies are 4-1 in preseason openers in Memphis. … The return of Rudy Gay, Zach Randolph, Marc Gasol, O. J. Mayo and Mike Conley marks only the second time in franchise history the Grizzlies have had all five starters return. … Darren Collison, obtained in an offseason trade along with James Posey, started at point guard for Indiana. T.J. Ford sat out with a strained right hamstring. … Pacers rookie Paul George, the 10th overall pick in the draft from Fresno State, missed his first four shots before a breakaway dunk in the second period.