Pacers hang on to beat Grizzlies behind LeVert, Brogdon

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Caris LeVert scored 34 points, Malcolm Brogdon and Donantas Sabonis fell just short of triple-doubles and the Indiana Pacers held on for a 132-125 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday night.

Brogdon had 29 points, matched his season-high with 11 assists and had nine rebounds. Sabonis finished with 18 points, 15 rebounds and nine assists, part of the Pacers grabbing a season-high 53 rebounds en route to their third straight victory.

Memphis centre Jonas Valanciunas matched his career high with 34 points and his season high with 22 rebounds. Valanciunas had 14 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Memphis rally.

Ja Morant had 23 points.

Memphis got within a single point in the final 1:46 but could never overtake the Pacers in the closing minutes.

After Indiana led by 18 in the third, Memphis rallied to bring the deficit to single digits in the fourth.

Memphis, which blew an eight-point lead in the closing 2:19 of regulation before losing to the New York Knicks in overtime Friday night, looked terrible on defence early in the game.

Sabonis led the Pacers to an early advantage, Indiana scoring 45 points in the first quarter — the most in any period against Memphis this season.

Sabonis wasn’t only the Indiana player hurting the Grizzlies. The Pacers shot more than 60% through the first half.

Still, Valanciunas and the Grizzlies were able to cut into the lead before a late flurry gave the Pacers a 74-63 lead at the break.

Valanciunas already had 18 points and 10 rebounds at the half. Sabonis was looking at a triple-double with 11 points, 11 rebounds and a handful of assists.

But LeVert also was getting untracked, scoring 19 before intermission.

LeVert scored 11 points in the third as Indiana held on for a 106-97 lead.

TIP-INS

Pacers: Have their first three-game winning streak since starting 3-0. … Announced on Sunday they have signed 6-foot-7 forward Oshae Brissett to a second 10-day contract. ... Sabonis had nine assists, moving past Billy Knight for 23rd 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 reached 2,000 career points in the first quarter.

UP NEXT

Pacers: Host the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday night.

Grizzlies: Host Chicago on Monday night.

More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/NBA

Clay Bailey, The Associated Press