Pacers edge Grizzlies after last shot waved off
by Mike Wells, USA TODAY Sports
MEMPHIS — The NBA playoffs are three months away.
Monday’s matinee between the Indiana Pacers and Memphis Grizzlies was supposed to be little more than a mid-January game honoring the late Martin Luther King Jr.
But the matchup turned into a nationally television treat as two squads positioned high in their respective conferences, but low in terms of exposure, kept it intense.
Players dove on the court for loose balls like it was a Game 7 of a playoff series. Jump shots in the post were met with bodies banging against the shooters. Jump shots were often contested.
The Pacers left the court and headed to Portland, Ore., feeling good about the outcome.
George Hill hit the winner, making 1-of-2 free throws with 1.4 seconds left to lead the Pacers to an 82-81 win over the Grizzlies at the FedEx Forum.
“This was huge for us,” Pacers swingman Paul George said. “You’re talking about the two top defenses in the league. It definitely had a playoff feel to it. It was a straight grind-it-out game. We knew coming into this game we were going to have to execute and put points up to win.”
The Grizzlies (26-14) had tied the score after guard Tony Allen threw his body around the court to help maintain possession. Memphis finally scored on its fourth try when Allen found Zach Randolph underneath for a basket with 10.4 seconds left.
After calling timeout to advance the ball into the frontcourt, Hill got a step on Indiana native Mike Conley and was fouled on his drive to the basket. Several Grizzlies players pleaded their case to the officials to no avail.
“You’re going to let them go for the game on that,” Allen kept saying to the officials as he paced.
“They made plays down the stretch,” Allen said after the game. “We have to pay attention to details. I think they did a better job of doing that today.”
It took a video review to confirm the Pacers’ victory.
Grizzlies swingman Rudy Gay made a jumper that was waved off because it came after the buzzer. The Pacers knew it was late, even before the officials confirmed … [For more on Pacers edge Grizzlies after Gay's last shot waved off, click here.]