(SportsNetwork.com) - The undefeated Indiana Pacers will face a tough test in remaining perfect Monday night when they welcome the Memphis Grizzlies to Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
The Pacers are off to the best start in franchise history. They already own a four-game lead in the Central Division and are three games ahead of the Miami Heat and Philadelphia 76ers in the Eastern Conference.
"I really don't get caught up in the historical value of our record; we're ahead of the race," said head coach Frank Vogel. "We're trying to get the No. 1 seed and put ourselves in the best position come playoff time to come out of the East. That's what I'm concerned about."
The Pacers reached 7-0 with an impressive 96-91 victory over the Brooklyn Nets Friday night at the Barclays Center.
"That's a big time win for our team, fourth game in five nights. To come into a building like this, playoff atmosphere, tough to win against a basketball team like this," said Vogel. "I don't care what Brooklyn's record is, they're going to be there down the stretch."
Paul George continued to be great with 24 points and six rebounds on Friday. He is third in the league in scoring at 25.1 ppg.
David West scored 18 points, while Roy Hibbert finished with 15 points, 11 rebounds and two blocks. Lance Stephenson also had 15 points.
The Pacers and Grizzlies finished first and second in almost every defensive category last season. Indiana is doing its part this time around, leading the NBA in opponents' scoring by almost 8.0 ppg, and topping the list in opponents' field-goal percentage.
Memphis hasn't kept up its end.
The Grizzlies are 15th in opponents' scoring and 20th in opponents' field-goal percentage.
They displayed some of that vaunted Memphis defense on Saturday at home with a 108-90 drubbing of the Golden State Warriors, one of the best offensive units in the NBA.
The Grizzlies held the Warriors to 42.3 percent shooting and kept them almost 13 points below their season average.
Six Memphis players scored in double figures, led by 23 points and 11 rebounds from Zach Randolph. Mike Conley got 20 points and Marc Gasol added 18. Tayshaun Prince, Mike Miller and Tony Allen were the other double-digit scorers against Golden State.
"We just got back to powering the ball inside and trying to play the passing lane, and pressing up on the wings, showing high on the pick-and-roll coverage," said Allen. "It's everyone paying attention to detail for 48 minutes. This was a perfect sign of the Grizzlies playing hard and playing together."
The Pacers swept both of last season's matchups, but Memphis has taken three of its last five in Indianapolis.