The Memphis Grizzlies entered their second game of a back-to-back on Monday night against the Indiana Pacers looking to progress. This time, adding Brandon Clarke to the injury night would make the night even tougher for Memphis.
The Memphis Grizzlies and Indiana Pacers started off rather rough for both sides. Memphis started the game shooting 2/8 and Indiana started 2/7 from the floor. Pacers Head Coach Nate McMillan called for a timeout at the 8:50 mark to settle things down with the Pacers and Grizzlies tied at four points apiece.
To keep things positive, Jaren Jackson Jr. started the first quarter really well with two post scores on Domantas Sabonis. However, the Pacers just went on a run to answer Memphis run out of the timeout where Memphis led by as much as five. The Pacers would lead the Grizzlies 13-9 with a Taylor Jenkins timeout at the 5:34 mark in the first quarter.
The first quarter was miserable for the Grizzlies in terms of getting shots to fall. Indiana turned the ball over, and Memphis forced some mistakes, but with no chance of capitalizing on them. Thankfully, a De’Anthony Melton three-pointer ended the cold spell, which brought Memphis within five of the Pacers at the end of one. The first quarter ended with the Grizzlies trailing the Pacers 24-19. Memphis finished that first quarter shooting 30.8 percent from the field.
The Grizzlies would open up the second quarter with a 10-1 run for the first 2:18 of the second. Memphis would take a 29-25 lead over the Pacers with an all bench unit of De’Anthony Melton, Marko Guduric, Bruno Caboclo, Solomon Hill, and Grayson Allen. However, as the starters started trickling back in for both Indiana and Memphis, the Pacers started firing back at the Grizzlies. Indiana went on a 11-2 run in a span of two-and-a-half minutes forcing a Grizzlies timeout. Memphis trailed Indiana 36-31 with 7:05 remaining in the second quarter.
The Grizzlies were outscored by the Pacers 33-28 in the second quarter and trailed Indiana 57-47 after two quarters. Memphis shot 39.5 from the field through the first two quarters, but shot 25 percent from deep. Pacers forced seven Grizzlies turnovers, and just was a more deep physical presence in both quarters.
Bright spot from the first half? Jaren Jackson Jr. getting started early and often. Jackson had 11 points in 13 minutes of action, and all of which were in the paint. Memphis would need a heavy dose of Jaren to get this Grizzlies team back into the ball game in the second half.
The Grizzlies opened up the third quarter pretty solid. Forcing three quick team fouls on the Pacers in the first two and a half minutes. Unfortunately for Memphis, they couldn’t buy a stop defensively, as the Pacers fed Sabonis in the Pick ‘N’ Roll game. Sabonis continued to sit around the free throw line and drill mid range jump shots.
The Grizzlies third quarter can be summed up with a guy trying to climb a mountain with no traction on his shoes. Steady with effort, but unable to get over a nine point Pacers lead. Memphis would get on their runs, but would give up runs back to Indiana. Memphis would head to the fourth quarter trailing the Pacers 85-73.
A struggle for the Grizzlies turned into a burial as the Pacers started pulling away early in the fourth quarter. The Grizzlies seemed to get the stops here and there but Memphis’ offense was just too inconsistent to answer their defensive stops.
The Grizzlies couldn’t get over a hump that was a 10-plus point deficit throughout the second half. Memphis couldn’t get rolling, which is understandable following a short-handed win in Minnesota, and being even more short-handed against one of the better offenses in the league in the Pacers.
The Grizzlies would fall 117-104 to the Pacers on Monday night at FedEx Forum. Despite a 31 point performance for Jaren Jackson Jr., the Grizzlies couldn’t answer the scorching hot Pacers.
Memphis will move to 6-14 on the season and will look to rebound on Wednesday night in Chicago as the Grizzlies will take on the Chicago Bulls.