Move, nothing to see, or almost! In Indianapolis tonight, Pacers fans and their players had a rough night. Without Myles Turner to protect the circle, they attended the celebration of the Grizzlies, who quickly got their hands on the meeting and never let go.
Clumsy from afar early in the game, Taylor Jenkins’ men successfully hammered the racket, also taking advantage of big defensive sequences to explode in transition and (to) trouble the circle.
It all started with an alley-oop between Ja Morant and Ziaire Williams, before the point guard got justice with a two-handed dunk on the counterattack. There was then a big tomar from Steven Adams, then a dunk from Santi Aldama, still in transition, to allow his team to turn +8 as the end of the first action approached (26-34).
The 3-pointers of Chris Duarte and Andrew Nembhard briefly maintained the pressure and Indiana was back in front (40-38). Memphis quickly pulled off a 10-2 run then 14-2 that was fueled by an entire collective, from the Morant-Bane-Jackson trio to Ziaire Williams or David Roddy. This time, the Pacers just came back, before the break (52-68).
Coming back from the locker room, the Grizzlies made sure to keep the pressure on to avoid a suspenseful ending to the game. It was a completely crazy series of three dunks and two alley-oops in a row, with an unforgettable flight from Ja Morant, which ended up cracking the locals (71-91).
The Tennessee Voltigeurs succeeded in their mission, and the two teams were able to share a dozen minutes of “garbage time” to finish the match with a final score (112-130).
WHAT YOU SHOULD REMEMBER
– All is well for Memphis. These Grizzlies-dominated games have been a boon for Taylor Jenkins. These allow him to rotate his squad at the end of the match to rest his stars but also get everyone involved. Tonight again, no player went over 30 minutes of play and eight scored 8 points or more. An advantage that could be important in a few months…
– A triumphant homecoming for Desmond Bane. The regional stage, born in Richmond, an hour east of Indianapolis did not disappoint his many fans who made the short trip to support him. The tailback just underlined his best game since returning from injury with 25 points, 8 rebounds and 3 assists.
Ja Morant was scary again tonight. Because he ends up in the coals in almost every action and Grizzlies fans should cross their fingers that he gets back up after every fall. The leader not only got up but managed to fly away as he had done several times this night.
Very special mention for Jalen Smith’s incredible dunk smash in front.
✅ Yes Morant. He had nothing to envy the Marsupilami in this fight as he seemed to fly over and over again with amazing ease. Impressive in his driving, he also dished out 10 assists to go along with his 23 points, all in just 25 minutes of play.
✅ The Jackson Jr-Adams pair. If Indiana struggled to protect their racket in the absence of Myles Turner, Jaren Jackson Jr. and Steven Adams helped lock down their racket by finishing as the game’s leading rebounders. The fact that Indiana also struggled with the 3-point shot made it easier for the Grizzlies.
✅ Chris Duarte. It was a pleasure to see him back at this level, he who had only once exceeded 15 points since the start of the season before the match. We found the sharp and efficient Chris Duarte from a distance, he who was almost alone in this case on the Pacers side. A match that will boost his confidence.
⛔️Aaron Nesmith. The pain, the player is not sure… and he should have abstained about his production: 6 points on 2/13 shooting with a 0/8 behind the arc, 7 rebounds and 1 assist. He almost makes Oshae Brissett look like a small player and his 0/6…
Indiana (23-21): the Pacers begin a four-game road trip starting in Milwaukee this Monday (8:30 pm).
Memphis (29-13): the Grizzlies will aim for 10e straight win to welcome Phoenix for MLK Day on Monday (midnight).