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Pacers hold on to defeat Grizzlies 82-81

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Pacers hold on to defeat Grizzlies 82-81

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) George Hill scored 13 points, including a clinching free throw with 1.4 seconds remaining to give the Indiana Pacers an 82-81 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies in the annual Martin Luther King Day game on Monday afternoon.

On the ensuing inbounds, Rudy Gay's 24-footer over Paul George banked in, but it came after the buzzer - a ruling confirmed by officials after a review - giving the Pacers their second straight win and ninth in the last 11.

David West scored 14 points for the Central Division-leading Pacers, while George finished with 12 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists. Roy Hibbert scored 10 for Indiana.

Wayne Ellington led the Grizzlies with 17 points on 7 of 9 shooting, including connecting on all three shots from outside the arc. Gay had 14 points, while Mike Conley and Zach Randolph scored 13 apiece. Gay had eight rebounds, while Randolph added seven boards.

The game featured 10 ties and 19 lead changes.

Hill was sent to the line when Conley fouled him on a drive. Hill hit the second free throw, giving the Pacers the final lead.

The Pacers blocked 11 shots - five by West and four by Hibbert - a testament to their interior defense.

But Indiana had trouble taking care of the ball, committing 20 turnovers, compared to 15 for the Grizzlies.

Other statistical categories from rebounds (35-34 Grizzlies) to 14 second-chance points apiece were further indications of the game's closeness.

The teams scrapped through a tightly-played first half that featured 15 lead changes and six ties.

The Pacers were able to pull away in the final 9 minutes of the half, thanks to a 15-4 run that erased Memphis' largest lead of the half.

The rally helped Indiana carry a 43-39 lead at halftime. Neither team had a player in double figures as several key players struggled shooting. West was 4 of 10 for Indiana, but Memphis suffered through much more inaccuracy.

The Grizzlies frontline of Gay, Marc Gasol and Randolph was a combined 4 of 20, helping Memphis shoot 39 percent in the half.

The Memphis bench did provide a bit of a lift with 18 points, eight of them from Ellington, who connected on a pair of 3-pointers in the second quarter.

Memphis used defense to get its offense untracked in the second half. Through the first 8 minutes, Indiana had taken only six shots and had six turnovers.

That allowed Memphis to score 14 unanswered points to retake the lead.

For the quarter, Indiana 8 of 12 from the field, and the Pacers used a 3-pointer from Orlando Johnson late in the third to carry a 65-63 lead into final frame.

The game remained tight through the early stages of the fourth until consecutive baskets by Tyler Hansbrough and a rebound basket by Hibbert broke a 70-all tie, giving the Pacers a bit of a buffer near the 7-minute mark.

Indiana maintained the lead until a 3-pointer from Conley with 2:10 left gave Memphis a 79-78 lead.

George immediately answered with a 3-pointer for the Indiana lead at 81-79.

Tony Allen's hustle was what pulled Memphis back even. He grabbed an offensive re bound with about 30 second left, then stole the ball after an Indiana rebound.

That set up his pass to Randolph to tie the game at 81 with 10.5 seconds remaining.

NOTES: The game was the 11th Annual Martin Luther King Day game hosted by the Grizzlies. Memphis is now 5-6 on the holiday. .The Grizzlies honored former NBA players Elgin Baylor and Patrick Ewing, along with former NFL great Jim Brown with the Eighth Annual National Civil Rights Legacy Award, as part of the day's ceremonies. .The Grizzlies opened a four-game homestand with Monday's game, while the Pacers were playing their first of a four-game road trip. .The Pacers defeated Memphis 88-83 on New Year's Eve in Indy.

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PIC: Adrian Peterson has arrived at Redskins Park

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USA TODAY Sports

PIC: Adrian Peterson has arrived at Redskins Park

With Derrius Guice out for the season and Samaje Perine and Byron Marshall both sustaining injuries during the Redskins' Week 2 preseason game vs. the Jets, the Burgundy and Gold may be in need of some help at running back. Enter seven-time Pro Bowler Adrian Peterson.

One of the best running backs to ever play the game, Peterson has rushed for 12,276 yards and 99 touchdowns over a 11-year career.

Peterson's visit is part of the team's contingency plan if they do indeed become very thing at the running back position. Jamaal Charles and Orleans Darkwa have also been at Redskins Park for visits. 

"Well we want to bring them in to get physicals on them just in case,” said Gruden.  

Nonetheless, the thought of having Adrian Peterson in a Redskins uniform is exciting. 

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Alex Smith believes that his Redskins teammates are 'all in'

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Associated Press

Alex Smith believes that his Redskins teammates are 'all in'

During the offseason program and training camp we have seen ample evidence that Alex Smith’s teammates have great respect for their new quarterback. Speaking to the media on Sunday, Smith said that the respect is mutual. 

While saying that, nobody really knows how the team will respond when the games count and the pressure is on, but Smith likes what he has seen so far. 

“I think we’ve got guys that are all in,” he said. “We’ve got a bunch of guys that are committed, and I don’t think that’s the case everywhere. I think a lot of times it’s easy not to invest because it’s scary to put yourself out there knowing you might not succeed. I think we’ve got a bunch of guys who are all in, really invested in what we’re doing here, and I think that’s all you can ask for. We’ve got a tough team that’s not afraid of competition, not afraid to toe the line. I think that’s been apparent through camp. Like I said, the proof’s in the pudding. You’ve got to go do it when it really matters.”

Of course, it’s smart to be complimentary of your new teammates when you are under contract with the organization for the next five years, and Smith is nothing if not smart. Still, Smith didn’t seem to be blowing smoke when he talked about how he formed his opinion about the team. 

“I think it’s an accumulation going back to April up to this date,” said Smith. “It’s how he conducts himself, how he carries himself in the locker room, in the film room, in the training room, in the weight room, on the practice field, when you’re in camp riding the shuttle bus together. I mean, you can tell, I think, how invested guys are. You can tell who’s real, who’s authentic. That quickly becomes apparent when you put all those things together. You can see what guys are really made of and who’s faking it. We’ve got a bunch of guys that are all in.”

For the last several years, the Redskins have talked a lot about drafting and signing players with character, guys who as Smith put it are “all in”. They haven’t always hit the mark, but they have collected players like Brandon Scherff, Jonathan Allen, Josh Norman, and others who love the game more than they love what they can get from the game (i.e. a big paycheck). 

To be sure, dysfunction involving players is not entirely a thing of the past. There has been occasional drama such as the sudden Su’a Cravens departure last year, but most NFL team have occasional situations and the Redskins are not one of the teams frequently making headlines for the wrong reasons. 

Smith is another one of those high character guys and he is recognizing that in the approach of many of his teammates. 

This all sounds great in August and, as Smith noted, we won’t really know how the high character will translate when they’re in a tight game during the season. But for right now, it’s good that the quarterback has confidence in his teammates and that could count for something when the chips are down in December. 

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Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS and follow him on Twitter  @TandlerNBCS and on Instagram @RichTandler