by Scott Agness – Follow Scott
The Pacers had an eight-point halftime lead, and in just over six minutes into the second half it was gone … for good.
Hosting the Memphis Grizzlies, who are expected to be a top five team in the Western Conference, careless possessions held the Pacers back Friday night. It was just their second game of the second game of the season, but they’ve given the ball away 18 times each thus far.
“[It's] probably to be expected but not acceptable,” head coach Frank Vogel said following their 97-89 loss. “We should be able to do better than that no matter what our situation is.”
The Pacers, and specifically the reserves, had an outstanding second quarter. They were responsible for 18 of the quarter’s first 23 points, and surged ahead 53-45 by intermission. Vogel diagramed an outstanding final play during a timeout and his guys executed perfectly — with Roy Hibbert getting the ball on the right elbow and hitting guard Donald Sloan, who was cutting back door, for the layup.
Then, it all went downhill.
The tested Grizzlies went on a 26-2 run, and outscored the Pacers by 19 in the period to stretch their lead to 11 entering the final period.
“Turnovers killed us tonight,” said guard Rodney Stuckey. “We came out flat in the third quarter. We had a lead and they just came out and wanted it more. That killed the vibe of the game.
“It bit us in the butt.”