for this game

Pacers and Grizzlies tip off in Indy

Oct 31, 2014 - 2:13 PM ( - Two of the league's best defensive teams last season square off in Game 2 of this season Friday night when the Indiana Pacers host the Memphis Grizzlies at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

The Pacers and Grizzlies finished second and third in opponents' scoring for the 2013-14 campaign. Both squads opened this season with victories, although both were against inferior competition.

Indiana started the 2014-15 odyssey with a 103-91 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday. With Paul George most likely gone for the season, the Pacers set out on this 82-game test without David West, George Hill and C.J. Watson. All three are expected to miss Friday's contest with their litany of injuries.

Roy Hibbert led the way for the Pacers with 22 points, eight rebounds and seven blocked shots. Donald Sloan, who replaced Hill in the starting lineup, and Rodney Stuckey, who signed as a free agent in the offseason, both finished with 16. Sloan added 10 rebounds.

C.J. Miles added 15, followed by 11 from Chris Copeland and 10 out of Luis Scola.

"I think we started slow, which is to be expected with the new faces," said head coach Frank Vogel. "I thought it might happen. The bench came in and stabilized things. Then the starters had a great second half. It wasn't perfect. It's a work in progress, but it's a positive first step."

Memphis got its season off on a positive note with a 105-101 home victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday night. That was the Grizzlies' first season-opening victory since moving to Memphis and ended a bizarre, 13-game slide in first contests of the campaign.

"First game is out of the way, now we can look at film and see ways we can improve," said Tony Allen. "We have a lot of improving to do; obviously executing on the defensive end. I felt there were a lot of times we could have closed them out and increased the lead. I thought we let our guard down."

Marc Gasol had a career-high 32 points, nine rebounds, two steals and two blocks in the win.

Zach Randolph added 25 points and 13 boards for the Grizzlies, who shot 52.4 percent from the floor. Mike Conley and Courtney Lee tallied 16 and 14 points, respectively.

Memphis' defense was a little lacking at times. The team nearly squandered a seven-point lead after three quarters and allowed the Wolves to shoot 50 percent from beyond the arc.

The Grizzlies' starters all played at least 33 minutes on Wednesday and the bench combined for 10 points.

The teams split last season's two meetings with the home team holding court. Memphis' win at home in March ended a three-game series losing streak.