Tuesday, March 4, 2014 at 7:00 PM ET at Bankers Life Fieldhouse
Game Rewind: Pacers 96, Warriors 98
Scott Agness | March 5, 2014
The Pacers’ first seven opponents out of the All-Star break were under .500 yet still gave them a challenge. Tuesday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Golden State, a playoff team in the Western Conference, came in fired up to play the best of the East.
Warriors guard Klay Thompson scored 16 in the final quarter, including a go-ahead baseline jumper over George Hill, who returned after missing two games with a bruised left shoulder, with 0.6 seconds remaining.
After a timeout advanced the ball to mid-court the Pacers had a chance to win the game. Hill got the ball to Paul George, who got away from Andre Iguodala, but his attempt from 29-feet didn’t drop. Thompson’s game-winner lifted the Warriors (37-24) to a 98-96 victory, snapping a six-game losing streak in Indianapolis.
A home loss like this one, just their fourth of the season, is tough for the Pacers (46-14) to swallow in their quest for home-court advantage. Many players were attentive to the TVs in the locker room watching the end of Miami at Houston, an indicator of how close this race to the playoffs will be. Indiana maintains a two-game lead (one in the loss column) on Miami thanks to Houston’s three-point win.
In the early going Tuesday night, Paul George showed no signs of setback from his sore tailbone, suffered in Sunday’s win over Utah. He got in rhythm quickly and nailed his first two buckets to put the Pacers in front. He had 12 of their 21 first-quarter points, but Warriors sharpshooter Stephen Curry had nine of his own, which helped the Warriors to a four-point lead by quarter’s end.
The Warriors led the entire second quarter, stretching their lead to as many as 10. The Pacers missed all six 3-point attempts in the period, and gave up seven points to Warriors reserve Jordan Crawford, who can score in bunches. A couple scores to end the half shrunk the Pacers’ deficit to six, 48-42.
Out of the locker room, the Pacers used a nice start to go ahead 60-58 on two free throws from Roy Hibbert. The Warriors, however, then used a 12-3 spurt to take back the lead. Heading into the fourth, Indiana was in a three-point hole.
In the first half layups were a problem, and so the Pacers made a shift to protect the basket more. In turn, that left Golden State’s guards more open threes, and like many opponents recently, they were hitting. Thompson put the Warriors back up 10 by scoring nine straight points, part of a 19-9 start to the period.
Down by 12 with five minutes to play, the Pacers started to make their move. They scored 12 unanswered to even things at 94. Warriors big man David Lee then rebounded a miss and somehow managed to get his putback to fall. After misses at either end, Paul George connected on two free throws. Out of a timeout, Curry stepped on the sideline, which gave the Pacers a chance to take the lead. George’s step-back shot beyond the arc was short, opening up an opportunity for the Warriors.
Thompson, who had the hot hand, got it on the right baseline, backed down Hill and made a tough 12-footer with a hand in his face. George tried to top that at the other end, but it was off the mark.
In a big game against a playoff team, the Pacers were unable to get it done. Still having to shore up their defense and the contribution from their bench, the Pacers are on the road for five of their next six games.
Inside the Numbers
David West scored a game-high 27 points, his second straight game leading the Pacers in scoring. Paul George had 26 points (on 8-of-23 shooting) and 12 rebounds for his eighth double-double of the season. His last five double-doubles have all occurred in Pacers losses.
Indiana’s bench was blitzed 34-11. Evan Turner was held scoreless, missing all five shots in 18 minutes.
Klay Thompson made 10-of-20 shots and tallied 25 points to lead Golden State. Stephen Curry had 19 points, eight rebounds and six assists. Harrison Barnes and Draymond Green each made a pair of threes and contributed 10 points.
The Pacers went 21-of-22 (95.5 percent) at the free throw line, which tied their season-best mark previously set vs. the Los Angeles Clippers.
Falling by two, the Pacers drop to 2-3 in games decided by three points or less, and are 6-10 when trailing after three quarters.
“Pretty even game statistically. The difference, clearly, was the 3-point line. They just shot the ball better from the 3. You’ve got to give them credit.” – Frank Vogel
“He was the difference in the game. His ability to create shots off pin-downs and in the post was the difference.” – Frank Vogel on Klay Thompson
“They were too comfortable and I don’t think we stayed the course, in terms of our aggressiveness and our fight. They’re a jump-shooting team and they got comfortable. [Klay] Thompson got real comfortable. We had to fight uphill basically the six minutes in the fourth quarter just to (try and) steal a win on our home court.” – David West
“He was just getting free on screens. That’s a scenario that I know we’ll improve on guarding. He just broke free on a couple of screens and knocked down some tough shots.” – Paul George on Klay Thompson
“I thought I got a good look. I thought I broke free. When I know I got a defender in front of me that I know I can get around, I need to do so.” — Paul George on his final shot
“He did a great job. You try to stop a guy from getting to the basket and he takes a 17-foot fadeaway. There’s nothing you can do about it.” – George Hill on Thompson’s game winner
Stat of the Game
The Warriors made 10-of-20 3-point field goals while the Pacers converted just 3-of-16, a 21-point difference.
- Golden State’s win was its first at Bankers Life Fieldhouse since Feb. 5, 2007.
- Warriors guard Jordan Crawford received a technical foul in the second quarter. Frank Vogel earned his seventh technical of the season in the third period.
- The Pacers recorded their 20th sellout (18,165) this season, doubling last year’s total with eight home games remaining.
The Pacers head to Charlotte to take on the Bobcats Wednesday night at 7:00 p.m. EST. Game Preview »