Grizzlies 99, Pacers 95

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP)—Hubie Brown called James Posey’s number, and Posey didn’t drop the ball.

“I’m very happy coach had the confidence to put me in that position,” Posey said after leading the Memphis Grizzlies to a 99-95 victory Saturday night over the Indiana Pacers.

In a 12-0 fourth-quarter run that moved Memphis ahead 97-90, Posey scored on two driving layups that included a three-point play with 1:29 remaining.

A layup by Indiana’s Ron Artest, and a steal by Al Harrington that led to a 3-pointer by Jamaal Tinsley made it 97-95.

Indiana got a chance to go for a tie or the win after Jason Williams missed a jumper with 19 seconds left, but Reggie Miller missed a short running jumper with seven seconds to go.

Posey drew a foul and ended the scoring by hitting two free throws.

“I feel confident in the plays called toward the end,” Posey said. “It was a total team effort tonight.”

Indiana coach Rick Carlisle said the Grizzlies, who are having the best season in franchise history, “are way ahead of what everybody expected.”

“They are sixth seed in the West right now and that’s not an accident,” Carlisle said. “They play 10 guys and they come at you with high energy.”

Pau Gasol and Stromile Swift had 17 points each for Memphis. Mike Miller, playing for the first time since hurting his back on Feb. 17, had 13 points in 25 minutes. Williams added 10 points and 10 assists.

Miller said he was happy to be back and to have avoided surgery.

“After the first couple of hits, I felt good. Once that happened, I was pretty confident,” Miller said. “That was a lot better than worrying about your back every time you do something.”

The Pacers were led by Jermaine O’Neal with 28 points and Artest with 23. Jeff Foster had 17.

Memphis took the lead for good at 91-90 on Bo Outlaw’s two free throws with 2:20 left.

Indiana held a 56-52 halftime advantage after leading by 13 points three times in the first quarter.

In the opening period, the Pacers hit 15 shots in a row and led by 11 at 36-25 at the end of the quarter.

But the Grizzlies scored the last points of the period on two foul shots by Swift and then began the second with 10 unanswered points. Memphis tied the score for the first time at 41-all on a 3-pointer by Posey with 5:58 left in the second quarter.

While the Pacers shot 83 percent from the field in the first quarter, they were only 6-of-20 in the second period. For the night, the Pacers shot 50 percent to Memphis’ 53.

Brown said the Grizzlies got strong performances from their reserves.

“They were terrific,” Brown said. “They came in when our first group got outscored on 10 out of 12 possessions. They went to a zone and got us rightback in there with their roughness.”

Notes

Memphis F Shane Battier suffered a right shoulder strain in the final minute of the game. … Grizzlies G Bonzi Wells was sidelined with a bruised foot. Grizzlies coach Hubie Brown said he could be back on the court by early next week. … Indiana G/F Jonathan Bender was out with a bruised shoulder. … Indiana’s all-time record with the Grizzlies is 14-3, but 3-3 since the Grizzlies moved to Memphis from Vancouver. … The loss was the second in a rowfor the Pacers, who are 1-3 after a seven-game winning streak.

Top Performers

 Top Performers
 Indiana
J. O'Neal J. O'Neal
10-20,  28 Pts
11 Rebs, 1 Assists
 Memphis
J. Williams J. Williams
4-7,  10 Pts
3 Rebs, 10 Assists

Team Stat Leaders

Points
Rebounds
Assists