Pacers battle Grizzlies on Beale Street

The much-improved Indiana Pacers hope to salvage the back- game road trip tonight when they square off with the Memphis Grizzlies on Beale Street.

Indiana is coming off a 97-98 loss in Atlanta on Wednesday. Danny Granger scored 21 points in that one to lead the Pacers, who had won five of six coming in.

David West and Tyler Hansbrough added 15 points apiece while Roy Hibbert, who was named to his first All-Star team on Thursday, finished with 10 and 13 rebounds for the Pacers, who have dropped nine straight in the Peach State.

"Give Atlanta a lot of credit," said Pacers coach Frank Vogel. "They came out, having lost three in a row, with tremendous edge and took the fight to us. We fought like dogs in the second half to come back and compete and make it a game, but they were too much."

Memphis climbed back to the .500 mark on Wednesday and improved to 1-1 on a five-game residency with an 85-80 triumph over a Kevin Love-less Minnesota team.

Rudy Gay had 19 points, nine rebounds and three steals against the Timberwolves while Quincy Pondexter, starting in place of the injured Tony Allen, added a career-high 17 points and six boards for the Grizzlies, who snapped a three-game skid. Dante Cunningham and Marc Gasol each had 12 points.

"I just tried to continue being aggressive," Pondexter said. "After the last few games, I was real disappointed. I stayed aggressive and my teammates did a great job of finding me. You just have to be active on the floor, getting rebounds and doing a lot of the little things that help you be real productive in these types of games."

Allen, who is struggling with hip and knee injuries, remains doubtful for tonight's contest as Memphis tries to improve on an 8-4 mark at FedEx Forum.

The Pacers, who have not lost back-to-back games this season, have dropped four straight overall to the Grizz and three consecutive contests in the Volunteer State.