The Warriors attempted to come back on the team with the best record in the NBA but in the end a 20-point deficit was too much to overcome in Monday’s 102-94 loss to the Pacers at Oracle Arena. Stephen Curry led the Warriors with 24 points and nine assists and both David Lee (20 points, 12 rebounds) and Andrew Bogut (10 points, 13 rebounds) had double-doubles in the defeat. Klay Thompson added five 3-pointers for 17 points, but the Warriors shot just 40.7 percent for the game and allowed Indiana to shoot 64 percent in the first quarter before tightening up the defense the rest of the way. The loss drops the Warriors to 26-17 on the season, and they’ll continue their five-game homestand on Friday when they take on the Timberwolves.
On tonight's game:
“We knew exactly what the strengths of that basketball team were. I thought early on they got it going, played with more force and the scoreboard reflected that. When we met their intensity level and began to execute good things happened. In the second half it was a different basketball game and we outplayed them. If you give up 17 offensive rebounds and 21 second chance points while turning the basketball over, you are gifting a very good basketball team points.”
On the status of Andrew Bogut:
“He banged knees so I had to take him out for a little bit. He went back in and said he was fine. He’ll get some treatment and take a look at it.”
On the team's defense in the first quarter:
“That’s a very good basketball team. They made plays and shots and we did not defend at a high level. Some nights you just have to give credit to the offense. They made shots early; we made the proper adjustments and in the second half we defended at a high level.”
On it feeling like a playoff game tonight:
“It did. That’s a championship caliber team. There is a reason why they are talked about and getting recognition both individually and collectively. I really like my team. I like the way we responded in the second half. I like the fact that we made mistakes, gave up 17 offensive rebounds while turning the ball over and we were still in the ballgame. When we begin to take care of the little things it’s going to be scary at how good we can be.”
On tonight's game:
“We just got outplayed. They made an effort to assert themselves early and I don’t know if we didn’t show up, we just didn’t have any kind of punch early in the game. Obviously we showed we can play with the best in the league, outplaying them most of the rest of the game. They made a couple plays down the stretch that separated themselves to win the game. We’ve just got to keep learning as we go through the season, what it takes to be a consistent team for 48 minutes every single night. Obviously you’re not going to make shots but you’ve got to have that presence every single night.”
On the Pacers' two late 3-pointers:
“It just makes those big threes that they hit down the stretch that much more of a dagger for us. If you fight so hard and get back to within five and need one more stop to get over the hurdle and they hit two tough threes down the stretch to put the game out of reach, that’s tough to overcome. We understand that to start the game off well, especially at home, is big.”
On doing the little things:
“It’s just the little things that we’ve got to do. It’s nothing you can coach, really. We’re out on the floor, crashing the glass, keeping those guys from swiping those rebounds off the offensive glass, being physical, hitting guys when they’re in our paint, and sticking to the game plan. We had a couple possessions early in the game where we prepared for these sets that they run and we just were a step slow in getting our defensive rotations right, and they made us pay. So if we can take care of the little things that we can control, we’ll be alright.”
On home losses:
“It’s just a coincidence. We’ve played some good teams at home and haven’t put 48 minutes together. We obviously feed off our crowd’s energy but we understand, we’ve talked about that just because we are at home doesn’t mean we can show up and win. It has been put out on the table, guys understand it, and hopefully we get all of these losses out of the way early then we can really protect our home court as we go throughout the second half of the season. We do have the best fans; we’ve got to let them get into the game early and often which we didn’t do tonight.”
On the impact of the first quarter:
“Our start was dismal and then I thought the next three quarters we competed a little better and kind of played our style of basketball a little bit better. The first quarter cost us.”
On the comeback effort:
“We made shots. We competed a little better. We got a couple stops late; we went into our 3-2 zone in the third quarter. We got a lot of stops, I think they were 1-7 at one point, but we couldn’t get the rebound. That’s what cost us.”
BACK ON WARRIORS GROUND
The Warriors have played 25 games on the road this season, more than any other team in the NBA, but the schedule is about to start balancing out, as the Dubs will play nine of their next 11 games at home leading up to the NBA All-Star Break. The home heavy portion of the schedule tips off on Monday when the Dubs open a five-game homestand against the Indiana Pacers. The Warriors have gone 12-5 at Oracle Arena this season, and they’ll look to improve on that mark against the owners of the best record in the NBA this season. This will mark the first of two meetings between the two teams this season, and a limited number of tickets are still available for this inter-conference showdown. GET TICKETS
LAST TIME OUT
Playing the back end of a back-to-back, the Warriors grinded their way to a 97-87 win in New Orleans on Saturday. The Dubs weren’t at their best offensively, but they held the Pelicans to 38.6 percent shooting and just 33 second half points. Stephen Curry led the team with 28 points and eight assists, and he had 11 points during a third quarter that saw the Warriors turn the game around with a 14-2 run. David Lee added 22 points and eight rebounds and Andrew Bogut came up huge on defense, totaling 10 points, 15 rebounds and five blocks. With the win, the Warriors sweep the three-game season series with the Pelicans, and they’ll now head home for five straight games at Oracle Arena. GAME RECAP
ONE LAST PUSH FOR ALL-STAR
It’s no secret that Stephen Curry is an expert marksman. The record holder for the most 3-pointers made in a single season comes from a family of standout shooters, but Curry has turned himself to a multidimensional offensive player. Curry’s shot wasn’t falling on Saturday, so instead he made a concerted effort to get to the basket. In fact seven of his 10 made field goals were scored while driving through the lane. He is averaging career-highs in scoring, assists, rebounding and free throw attempts, and is the main reason why the Warriors have a shot for their first 50-win season in 20 years. Curry ranks among the league leaders in scoring (7th – 23.5 ppg) and assists (2nd – 9.2 apg), and he is certainly deserving of the first All-Star honor of his career. DUB THE VOTE
PACKING A PUNCH
Jordan Crawford has certainly made a nice first impression on his new team. He has now played in two games since the Warriors acquired him from Boston as part of a three-team trade last week, and he has been quite efficient in his time on the floor. Crawford is 7-for-10 from the field and 4-for-5 on 3-pointers in 28 minutes over two games, and one would expect his playing time to increase as he becomes more familiar with the Dubs’ offensive and defensive schemes. It’s no secret that the Warrior’s bench has underperformed this season, but Crawford could be the answer to giving the team’s reserve unit some much-needed firepower. In fact, in six games off the bench this season (with the Warriors and Celtics), Crawford has shot 20-for-33 (.606) from the field and 7-for-13 (.538) on 3-pointers.
INDIANA SCOUTING REPORT
There has been a lot of talk in the NBA this season about how bad the East is compared to the Western Conference, but that argument doesn’t apply to Indiana. The Pacers are riding a four-game winning streak, during which their average margin of victory over is 23.3 points. Indiana has the NBA’s top defensive rating (opponents score 92.6 points per 100 possessions) and they are second only to the Thunder in rebounding. Paul George is the team’s best player and averages 23.2 points per game, but he has more than enough help in Roy Hibbert, Lance Stephenson and David West. The Pacers don’t have a weak spot on their team, so the Warriors will need to be at their best if they are going to start their homestand with a victory.
GSW: Festus Ezeli (recovery from right knee surgery) and Jermaine O’Neal (right wrist surgery) are out.