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Now that’s more like it.

The Indiana Pacers have dropped back-to-back games on three occasions this season. But they’ve never gotten around to losing three in a row. That trend continued in Downtown Indianapolis on Tuesday night.

Following two straight defeats at the hands of the Charlotte Hornets and Philadelphia 76ers, it was about time to bounce back.

It wasn’t like the Memphis Grizzlies came into Bankers Life Fieldhouse as any slouch either. Memphis was forced to pause their season for five contests over the last couple of weeks, but they still rode in with a six game win streak.

Nate Bjorkgren’s team never allowed the Grizzlies and star guard Ja Morant to get comfortable. Morant, the former number two overall pick, was held to just 10 points and two-of-ten shooting. He’s a guy that has a season high of 44 points too.

The Blue and Gold locked him down.

“We wanted to try and take away his easy ones,” Bjorkgren said in his postgame zoom. “He’s really dynamic out there and wants to push that ball. When he comes off screens and is attacking lanes we wanted him to see multiple bodies out there. He’s got really good players around him too so I thought the fight in our guys to play team defense tonight was great.”

Domantas Sabonis was also back to his normal ways on Tuesday.

Against the Sixers, the all-star forward played in his first game when healthy where he did not record a double-double. He didn’t have one either in the second game versus Toronto last week, but he also left that ballgame due to injury. Sabonis posted 32 points and 13 rebounds on Memphis and now has at least a double double in 19 of 21 games this year.

Now loaded with a 12-9 record, it only gets tougher for Sabonis and company as they’ll hop on the plane to head up to Milwaukee and face the Bucks on Wednesday.

Milwaukee already has an uncharacteristic eight losses on the campaign. So Wednesday’s game, which will be aired nationally on ESPN, matters even more in terms of the early season standings.

“We felt like we gave last game away so we wanted to be sure to play all 48 minutes (Tuesday),” Sabonis told reporters. “It will be great to go up against a top team in the East. The big thing is to get as much sleep as possible.”

It will be a quick turnaround for Indiana, as tip-off is set for 7:00 PM EST up in Wisconsin.

Also to note, Bjorkgren played 12 different guys in the victory over the Grizzlies. 10 of those 12 players were on the score sheet.

Depth scoring will only get more and more crucial as we slide into February.

93.5 / 107.5 The Fan

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