|Date of game: 11/11/2013
Recap: Indiana vs. Memphis
Indianapolis, IN (SportsNetwork.com) - Lance Stephenson recorded his first career triple-double, Paul George came through with another big night and the Indiana Pacers extended the best start in franchise history with a 95-79 drubbing of the Memphis Grizzlies at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
Stephenson tallied 13 points, matched a career high with 11 rebounds and dished out a personal-best 12 assists in a superb all-around effort that catapulted the Pacers to 8-0 on the young season. George, named the Eastern Conference Player of the Week earlier Monday, justified that selection by racking up a game-high 23 points along with seven boards.
Four other Indiana players scored in double figures, and the Pacers outrebounded the Grizzlies by a 45-32 overall margin while pulling away in the second half.
"Paul George is playing at an all-world level," Grizzlies head coach Dave Joerger remarked. "They're an elite team, there's no question."
Marc Gasol paced Memphis, which has alternated losses and wins in each of their first seven outings, with 15 points. Zach Randolph finished with 12 in the setback.
This matchup between two teams that reached the finals of their respective conferences last season was no contest at all, with the red-hot Pacers leading virtually start-to-finish to remain the NBA's lone remaining unbeaten.
Indiana closed out the first quarter with a 6-0 run and held the Grizzlies to a 27.3 percent shooting percentage for the period in building an early 23-16 advantage. The margin grew to double digits just over a minute into the second, when Stephenson's bucket from beyond the arc put the Pacers up by a 28-18 count, and went to 12 midway through the frame after Ian Mahinmi converted a conventional 3-point play for a 38-26 score.
The Grizzlies managed to close the gap some prior to the break, with Gasol sinking 1-of-2 foul shots with under a second left to cap an 11-6 swing that brought Memphis within 46-39 at intermission.
Memphis would get no closer, however. Stephenson buried another triple to begin the second half, while George Hill netted five points during an 8-2 spurt later in the third quarter that staked Indiana to a 61-46 lead.
"Lance was a force out there with his triple-double," said Pacers head coach Frank Vogel. "But the most impressive thing about it to me, clearly, is only one turnover. Twelve assists, one turnover. He's been one of our most efficient players all year and that trend continued tonight."
The Pacers went into the fourth quarter up comfortably at 72-55, then ripped off eight consecutive points to begin the stanza to create a 25-point differential with under 10 1/2 minutes to go. Indiana was ahead by at least 15 the rest of the way.Game Notes
Indiana is the first team to start out 8-0 since the Los Angeles Lakers and
New Orleans each did so in 2010-11 ... Memphis forward Quincy Pondexter did
not return after breaking his nose in the second quarter ... Hill ended with
13 points on 6-of-9 shooting ... The Grizzlies have lost three straight on the
road to begin a season for the first time since 2009-10 ... Memphis rookie
Nick Calathes, serving as the backup point guard with Jerryd Bayless (knee)
sidelined, set career highs with six assists and 25 minutes played.