Indiana Pacers are hot as 2013 begins
by Mike Wells, USA TODAY Sports
INDIANAPOLIS — Singling out one player in the Indiana Pacers’ 88-83 come-from-behind victory vs. the Memphis Grizzlies when it seemed like they were moving through quick sand for almost three quarters wouldn’t be possible.
He had one of those “What took so long games?” when he stepped in the starting lineup for the injured George Hill (thigh) and scored a season-high 17 points to go with six assists.
The baby brother of Tyler hit two big 3-pointers early in the fourth quarter when the Pacers were making a run.
It’s no longer surprising, just expected, when West comes up big fourth quarter. He blocked Mike Conley’s 3-pointer, fed Augustin for 3-pointer on the other end, had a steal and made four straight free throws when the Pacers had the momentum.
How does a overall team win sound?
That’s how the Pacers viewed it.
“That’s a really good team win for our guys,” Pacers coach Frank Vogel said. “Really proud of the effort and grit to beat a really good basketball team in the Memphis Grizzlies.”
The Pacers (18-13) closed 2012 on a surge. They finished the year with an 8-2 record in their final 10 games, fourth in the Eastern Conference and in first place in the Central Division, a full game ahead of Chicago and Milwaukee.
“We knew with George out it would be a challenge,” said Pacers swingman Paul George, who had 21 points, six rebounds and five assists. “Everybody had to step up and everybody did.”
Memphis, which has dropped three of its past four games, went on a 13-2 run early in the third quarter to take what seemed like a comfortable lead because the Pacers weren’t giving any indication that they had anything in them to close the gap.
“Throughout the whole game, in the first half, we talked about it at halftime and even up to the point late in the third, it seemed like things were just not going our way,” Vogel said. “We just kept talking about it’s only going to take one little run to make this a game again. As bad as things looked for us throughout … [For more on Indiana Pacers are hot as 2013 begins, click here.]