Pacers
Grizzlies
121 - 111 Final
  for this game

Dunleavy, Pacers roll over Grizzlies

Nov 4, 2007 - 6:10 AM MEMPHIS, Tennessee (Ticker) -- The Indiana Pacers are turning heads in the early going.

Mike Dunleavy scored a season-high 27 points and grabbed eight rebounds to lead the Pacers to a 121-111 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday.

Danny Granger added 23 points for Indiana, which scored 72 points in the first half and shot 53 percent (47-of-89) from the floor en route to its third straight win.

A preseason favorite to finish near the bottom of the Eastern Conference, the Pacers have shown they can hang tough in a defensive battle - capturing an 87-85 win over Miami on Friday - and can run with the best of them - a 119-110 win over Washington in the season opener.

Indiana combined the two styles on Saturday, running out the first half and then locking down in the final two quarters, forcing 27 turnovers in the contest.

"We got some good defense tonight, so it didn't really matter the tempo," said Pacers coach Jim O'Brien, who has Indiana off to its first 3-0 start since 2004-05. "We played well as a team, and I thought that was our advantage."

The Pacers scored the first five points of the game and never trailed. Dunleavy came out hot with 10 points in the opening quarter, and Granger added eight, as Indiana ran up a 40-32 advantage behind 65 percent shooting in the period.

"We were able to play the tempo we wanted to play at tonight," Dunleavy said. "That's sort of our mindset this season. We want to get out, get on teams early. Tonight, we got into a good flow."

O'Brien, who replaced Rick Carlisle in the offseason, has shown a trust in Dunleavy so far this season, and the seventh-year forward has rewarded that faith. Averaging just 11.0 points in his six seasons, Dunleavy is pouring in over 22.0 per contest so far in the 2007-08 campaign.

Dunleavy scored six of Indiana's first seven points after halftime to push the advantage to 79-63 with 8:25 remaining in the third quarter.

"In this system, you have a lot of opportunities, and tonight I was fortunate to put a lot of them in the basket," Dunleavy said.

Granger shot just 6-of-16 from the field but remained productive by connecting on 11-of-12 from the free-throw line.

Granger, who has topped the 20-point mark in all three games this season, says it's been easy for the team to find its comfort level this season with the green light always on in O'Brien's system.

"If you're open, shoot it - plain and simple," Granger said. "You're not going to see us passing up too many shots. That's helped me come along in my third year, and I know it's helped some other guys. I think we can be a real dynamic team in this system."

Memphis ended the third on an 18-9 run to pull within 94-87 with 12 minutes remaining in the contest.

After Dunleavy's jumper pushed the lead back to 105-90 with 8:26 left in the game, the Grizzlies used an 11-0 run - capped by Pau Gasol's putback off Mike Miller's 3-point attempt - to cut their deficit to four with 5:27 to play.

Pacers forward Ike Diogu drove the lane for a layup coming out of a timeout and, after Gasol and point guard Kyle Lowry each split a pair of free throws on consecutive possessions for Memphis, back-to-back jumpers from Diogu and Jamaal Tinsley stretched Indiana's lead back to double digits at 113-103 with just over three minutes to play.

Granger sealed the win by connecting on all four of his free throws with under one minute remaining.

"We made it hard on ourselves tonight," said Memphis coach Marc Iavaroni, who remains in search of his first win. "We came out and showed some life in the third quarter, but we were our own worst enemies tonight."

"We made too many mistakes tonight, turning the ball over and the defensive letdowns," said Gasol, who scored 18 points and pulled down 10 rebounds for his first double-double of the season. "We made some runs, and we did some things well, but we have to work harder to get where we want to be."

Lowry scored a career-high 19 points and Mike Miller added 14 for Memphis.








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    MEMPHIS 111 FINAL

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    MEMPHIS 87 END, 3RD QTR

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