Game Time Change Notice
Please note that start time for Sunday’s game has been changed from the original schedule and will now tip off at 8:00 PM ET.
After Sunday night’s heartbreaking loss to the Philadelphia 76ers, the Pacers (11-9) hope to rebound against a young Memphis Grizzlies team (8-6) on Tuesday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
Tuesday’s game will be the second night of a back-to-back for the Grizzlies, who are recently returning from a stretch of 11 days without playing a game due to the effects of COVID-19. Their game Monday night against the Spurs will be just the second game they’ve played in the past two weeks. The club is technically riding an impressive six-game winning streak through it all, despite having several players sidelined for either injuries or health and safety protocols.
In contrast, Tuesday’s game will be the first of a back-to-back session for the Blue & Gold. After the final buzzer sounds, they’ll head up to Milwaukee to take on the Bucks on Feb. 3.
The Grizzlies carry the third-youngest roster in the NBA this year with an average age of 24.4 years, but have quite a bit of talent. Second-year guard Ja Morant, formerly of Murray State fame, has already compiled an explosive highlight reel over the first year and a quarter of his career. Morant currently averages a team-high 22 points and 7.7 assists per game despite sitting out eight games this year due to a sprained left ankle. Dillon Brooks, who averages the most 3-point attempts per game for the Grizzlies (6.4), averages 15.1 points per game.
Additionally, though the club may be young, the Grizzlies’ defense rank among the top teams in the league. Through 14 games played, the squad boasts the sixth-best defensive rating in the NBA, allowing just 107.6 points allowed per 100 possessions.
Thus, Indiana will need to be on its guard for a full 48 minutes this game. A run of sloppy play caught up to the Blue & Gold late in their contest against the Sixers. The Pacers committed seven of 18 total turnovers in the fourth quarter leading to 12 Philadelphia points. Look for the more-experienced Pacers to tune things up before heading on to the court Tuesday, as this Grizzlies team are hungry to continue their momentum through adversity.
Pacers: Brian Bowen II – out (G League two-way contract), Jalen Lecque – out (G League assignment), Caris LeVert – out (medical condition), Cassius Stanley – out (G League two-way contract), T.J. Warren – out (left foot stress fracture)
Grizzlies: Grayson Allen – out (health and safety protocols), Jaren Jackson Jr. – out (left knee meniscus surgery recovery), Sean McDermott – out (left shoulder bone bruise), Jontay Porter – out (right knee soreness), Killian Tillie – out (left foot soreness), Jonas Valanciunas – out (health and safety protocols), Justise Winslow – out (left hip displacement)
Dec. 2, 2019: The Blue & Gold used a balanced scoring effort to take care of the Grizzlies, 117-104, inside FedEx Forum. All five starters scored between 14 and 19 points, while the Holiday brothers combined for 26 points off the bench.
After trailing 9-4 in the early moments of the game, Indiana responded with nine unanswered points. The spree ended up being the start of a 20-7 run for the Blue & Gold. However, the Grizzlies roared back in the second, recording a 12-0 run behind the efforts of former Pacer Solomon Hill to take the lead.
But before the first half concluded, Indiana jumped back in front behind a string of 11 unanswered points and continued to hold on to the lead for the remainder of the game.
Malcolm Brogdon recorded a team-high 19 points, six rebounds, and nine assists in the win, while Domantas Sabonis was on triple-double watch. Unfortunately, the big man fouled out before notching the two assists needed. He finished with 18 points, 14 boards, and eight assists.
Indiana swept the regular-season series against Memphis last year for the second time over the last three seasons. The Pacers have won five of the last six and six of the last eight regular-season matchups against the Grizzlies.
The Grizzlies have lost four straight games inside Bankers Life Fieldhouse, with their last win coming on Oct. 29, 2015.
Grizzlies forward Jaren Jackson Jr played his high school basketball in Indiana. He started at Park Tudor School in Indianapolis before transferring to La Lumiere School in La Porte, Indiana for his senior year.