Countdown to Tipoff: Pacers vs. Warriors


Pacers work on solving slow starts

SCOUTING THE PACERS: Though the Pacers (26-32) have done a nice job rallying from big deficits, the greater issue is avoiding those deficits. In the first quarters of their last four losses, the Pacers have fallen behind by double digits each time and have been outscored 131-83 while shooting 32-of-91 (.352) and committing 19 turnovers. They trailed Phoenix 30-20 in the first quarter, Utah 24-13, Detroit 33-22 and Miami 41-17. Coach Frank Vogel said he plans no tweaks to the starting lineup or rotations, beyond continuing to work rookie Lance Stephenson into the mix, but the coach knows solving the problem of slow starts is paramount – it was the first message he wrote on the board for the pre-practice meeting Monday. They may also need focus on finishes. A 110-108 loss on a last-second shot over Brandon Rush sound familiar? That's what happened to the Pacers Sunday against Phoenix and Channing Frye, but also the last time they faced the Warriors on Jan. 19 in Oakland. Monta Ellis hit the game-winner on a fallaway jumper to cap a 9-3 run in the final 2:53.

SCOUTING THE WARRIORS: The Warriors have struggled of late, losing three in a row including a 126-123 decision Sunday in Minnesota despite 33 from Stephen Curry and 26 from Dorrell Wright. The Warriors (26-32) racked up 73 points in the first half but shot 5-of-27 in the third quarter and scored just 16 as Minnesota took control. This is the second stop on a critical seven-game road trip for the Warriors, who still hold hopes of competing for the final playoff berth in the West. The game will not mark a homecoming for former Pacers forward Troy Murphy, who was waived Monday after reaching a buyout agreement. Murphy had been acquired by his original NBA team from New Jersey at the trade deadline.

QUOTE MARKS: "Ultimately we need to figure out a way to start playing better in the first quarter. We're getting down and having to fight and claw our way back at the end these last couple of games. We've got to figure that out. We're getting outworked and getting down early. We're backed into a corner and trying to fight your way out of it is tough." – Pacers center Jeff Foster

INJURY REPORT: For the Pacers, Mike Dunleavy (broken left thumb) is out. The Warriors are healthy.

TICKETS: Buy now

BROADCAST INFO: The game will be telecast at 7 p.m. on Fox Sports Indiana with Chris Denari and Quinn Buckner calling the game and Stacy Paetz on the sideline, with a pre-game show starting at 6:30. The radio broadcast is anchored by the flagship of the Pacers' network, WIBC 93 FM, featuring Mark Boyle and Bob "Slick" Leonard, with Kevin Lee reporting.

INTERACT: You can chat with other fans around the country in our live game chat, which begins at tipoff.