MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) – Caris LeVert scored 34 runs, Malcolm Brogdon and Domantas Sabonis were just behind triple-doubles and the Indiana Pacers held on Sunday-evening for a 132-125 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies.
Brogdon had 29 points, tied his season high with 11 assists and had nine rebounds. Sabonis finished with 18 points, 15 rebounds and nine assists, part of the Pacers who had a season-high 53 rebounds on their way to their third straight win.
Memphis center Jonas Valanciunas equaled his career-high with 34 points and his season-high with 22 rebounds. Valanciunas had 16 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Memphis rally in the second half.
Ja Morant added 23 points for Memphis.
Memphis came within a 1:46 point twice in the final but was never able to overtake the Pacers in the final minutes. Lead retention along the track is a change for Indiana in recent games.
“It's offensive,” said LeVert when asked about the change. & # 39; Lots of balance. I feel like once you get a game down that confidence increases and you feel like you have to win those games. I feel like we are there as a team now. "
After Indiana led 18 in the third, Memphis rallied to catch up to single digits in the fourth, but never completely erased the Indiana advantage in the first half.
"We made some timely stops at the defensive end, but we had more patience there late," said Pacers coach Nate Bjorkgren. & # 39; And you took some big shots. It's up to the boys. They do a great job of sharing the ball. "
Jenkins said that as his team fights back from the terrible first quarter, mistakes along the trajectory kept them from catching up with the Pacers.
"Great fight for most of the game, winning the last three quarters," said Jenkins, "but you can't give up more than 40 points in the first quarter and dig yourself out of that hole."
As for the ending: “Multiple offensive rebounds (by Indiana). You have a chance to win a ball game. Who play losses. You can't have it. "
Memphis, which blew an eight-point lead in the final 2:19 of the regulations before losing in extra time to the New York Knicks on Friday-evening, looked bad on defense early in the game.
Sabonis led the Pacers to an early lead, Indiana scored 45 points in the first quarter – the highest total in any period against Memphis this season.
“We had a terrible start to the game,” said Jenkins. & # 39; Very unacceptable on our part. It doesn't reflect who we are, so we have to be better there. "
Sabonis wasn't the only Indiana player to hurt the Grizzlies. The Pacers shot more than 60% through the first half.
Still, Valanciunas and the Grizzlies were able to take the lead before a late gust gave the Pacers a 74-63 lead at half time.
Valanciunas already had 18 points and 10 rebounds at the halfway point. Sabonis looked to a triple-double with 11 points, 11 rebounds and a handful of assists.
But LeVert also got off track, scoring 19 before the break.
LeVert and Brogdon each scored 11 runs in the third while Indiana held on to a 106-97 lead into the fourth.
Pacers: Have their first three game winning streak since starting 3-0. … Announced on Sunday that they have signed 6-foot striker Oshae Brissett to a second 10-day contract. … Sabonis had nine assists and passed Billy Knight for 23rd place on the Pacers career list. Knight had 968.
Grizzlies: Valanciunas has 21 straight games with at least 10 rebounds. … Memphis has lost eight of the last 10 to the Pacers. … Morant hit 2,000 career points in the first quarter.
"Nobody likes to lose, especially when you've got possession of the ball away from play. … Start slowly, scoring 40 points in the first quarter, that's unacceptable." – Memphis guard Ja Morant
Pacers: Host the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday nights.
Grizzlies: Host Chicago on Monday nights.