INDIANAPOLIS, January 28, 2024 – In a high-stakes showdown, the Indiana Pacers secured their third consecutive home victory by defeating the Memphis Grizzlies 116-110. Bennedict Mathurin emerged as the star of the night, scoring an impressive 24 points off the bench.
The game, which remained neck-and-neck until the final minutes, witnessed a pivotal moment when Jalen Smith sunk a decisive 3-pointer with 3:10 remaining, breaking a 107-107 tie. Pacers coach Rick Carlisle hailed the shot as a “monster play” that propelled them to victory.
Smith, finishing with a double-double of 19 points and 10 rebounds, ensured the Pacers wouldn’t trail again. Pascal Siakam, the recently acquired All-Star forward, contributed 19 points, further solidifying the Pacers’ offensive prowess.
“Mathurin took the pressure off us,” remarked Pacers point guard Andrew Nembhard. “He was super aggressive going downhill.” Mathurin’s 19 first-half points set the tone for the game, showcasing his scoring versatility and ability to command the court.
The absence of key point guards on both sides – Tyrese Haliburton and T.J. McConnell for the Pacers, and Luke Kennard for the Grizzlies – intensified the competition. Despite facing challenges, the Pacers capitalized on their depth, particularly in the third quarter.
A 9-2 run in the closing minutes of the third quarter gave the Pacers a crucial 92-82 lead entering the final period. Mathurin’s electrifying running dunk and Obi Toppin’s converted 3-point play highlighted the team’s resilience.
Jaren Jackson Jr. led the Grizzlies with 25 points, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the Pacers’ determined efforts. Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins acknowledged the Pacers’ clutch plays, stating, “It was a battle to the end, and they came up with the win.”
The victory marked a significant triumph for the Pacers, who were without key players due to injuries. All-Star Tyrese Haliburton and backup T.J. McConnell were sidelined for the Pacers, while Luke Kennard sat out for the Grizzlies.
With this win, the Pacers continue their positive momentum, aiming to carry it into their upcoming clash with the Boston Celtics on Tuesday. Meanwhile, the Grizzlies will regroup as they prepare to host the Sacramento Kings on Monday.
In a game filled with suspense, decisive plays, and Mathurin’s standout performance, the Indiana Pacers emerged victorious, further solidifying their position in the competitive NBA landscape.