The Golden State Warriors have had significant success at Oracle Arena over the last two months, and Baron Davis has been a big reason why.
Davis looks to follow up his latest outstanding home performance on Sunday when the Warriors host the Indiana Pacers as Mike Dunleavy and Troy Murphy return to Oracle Arena for the first time since last season's trade between these two teams.
After lacking energy in a 109-91 loss at Portland on Wednesday, Golden State (21-16) came out strong in Friday's 116-104 victory over Memphis.. The Warriors shot 51.6 percent from the floor, were 14-of-32 from 3-point range and led 99-79 after three quarters.
"We were coming off a bad performance and I expected the team to come back and play. For the most part we did," Golden State coach Don Nelson said. "(Davis) was brilliant the whole game. We have to single Baron out; 19 assists and 1 turnover.''
Davis set a career-high in assists and scored 20 points after scoring just four points on 1-of-6 shooting and dishing out only one assist in Wednesday's loss in Portland.
"Coach challenged me to move that ball and I'm trying to make a conscious effort of being more on the ball," Davis said. "I just want to be more of a passer, especially on this team.''
Davis has 54 points, 33 assists and one turnover in his last two home games - both wins. He is averaging 25.6 points and 9.5 assists in 17 home games compared to 18.7 points and 7.3 assists in 20 road games. The Warriors have won 10 of their last 13 home games after starting the season 0-4 at Oracle Arena.
The Warriors split their two-game series against the Pacers last season, with each team winning on the road. Indiana has won the last two meetings at Oracle Arena.
Davis had 24 points and nine assists in his only game against the Pacers last season, a 108-106 loss on Nov. 29, 2006.
Monta Ellis averaged 24.0 points on 63.0 percent shooting and 7.0 rebounds in two games against Indiana last season. Ellis made his first 11 shots and finished with a team-high 27 points on a season-best 12-of-15 shooting against the Grizzlies.
The Pacers (17-21) defeated Sacramento 111-105 on Saturday, winning for just the second time in 10 games.
Indiana, which wraps up a five-game road trip with this contest, had lost the first three games of the trip by an average of 15.0 points before Saturday's victory, which snapped a seven-game road losing streak.
"It's always important to win games and especially with the skid we've been on,'' Pacers forward Jermaine O'Neal said. "Now we have to start putting games together, get that feeling back by winning consecutive games.''
Dunleavy, who was a part of last January's eight-player trade between the Pacers and Warriors, scored 23 points on Saturday.
On Jan. 17, Indiana sent Stephen Jackson, Al Harrington, Sarunas Jasikevivcius and Josh Powell to Golden State for Dunleavy, Murphy, Ike Diogu and Keith McLeod. Since the trade, the Warriors are 44-36, while the Pacers are 32-50.
"I have no idea and I don't really care (about the reaction from Warriors fans),'' said Dunleavy, who was frequently booed while playing for Golden State. "It will be nice to see some familiar faces and some friends, but we're just going there to try and get a win.''
In the first meeting between these teams since the trade on Feb. 5, Golden State won 113-98 behind 36 points from Jackson.
O'Neal had 12 points and seven rebounds after missing Wednesday's 129-122 overtime loss to Phoenix because of a sore left knee. O'Neal is not expected to play in this game because his knee injury keeps him from playing on back-to-back nights.
The Pacers and Warriors conclude their season series Wednesday in Indiana.
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