Game Rewind: Pacers 104, Warriors 98

Game Recap

Rodney Stuckey didn't look like he was playing on a bad ankle on Sunday. The Pacers' sixth man was listed as questionable for Sunday's contest after spraining his left ankle in Friday's win in Philadelphia, but decided to give it a go with the NBA-leading Golden State Warriors in town.

Stuckey sure made his presence felt, scoring 30 points on 11-of-17 shooting to lead Indiana (23-33) to a 104-98 win over Golden State (43-10). The 6-foot-4 combo guard also tallied four rebounds and five assists, while only committing one turnover in 28:18.

Stuckey's standout performance helped the Pacers to their sixth win in seven games. Stuckey scored 30 points for the second straight contest and is averaging 25.3 points in three games since moving out of the starting lineup and into a reserve role. Head coach Frank Vogel said that Stuckey actually approached him about coming off the bench in a "sparkplug" role.

"I can do a lot more things (coming off the bench)," Stuckey said. "Create for myself and also look for my teammates. I thought it was just a better fit for me."

With the score knotted at 78 and the seconds winding down at the end of the third quarter, C.J. Watson kicked the ball out to Stuckey, who drained a deep 3-pointer just before the buzzer. Indiana stretched its lead to as many as seven points in the fourth quarter, only to watch the Warriors score eight unanswered to retake the lead with 5:09 remaining.

From there, Stuckey took over again, scoring on a cutting layup and then dishing to David West on the very next possession to put the Pacers back in front.

The Warriors twice cut the lead to one point, but each time a Pacers player knocked down a big 3-pointer. George Hill converted a triple with 2:07 remaining to make it 98-94, then C.J. Miles buried a trey with 26.5 seconds remaining that extended Indiana's lead to 101-97 and effectively sealed the victory.

"We're finally getting guys healthy and in shape," Vogel said. "That's a big difference from where we were earlier in the seaosn.

"We had a pretty strong belief that this team could do some special things when we (got to) full strength, and we're starting to play better."

Golden State's All-Star point guard Stephen Curry was a late scratch from the starting lineup after experiencing soreness in his ankle during pregame warmups. But even without Curry, the Dubs got off to a fantastic start on Sunday night.

The Warriors lit up the scoreboard in the first quarter, scoring 38 points on 56.5 percent shooting to take a 12-point lead. It was the most points Indiana has allowed in the opening quarter all season. Curry's "Splash Brother" Klay Thompson scored 15 points in the first quarter and Andre Iguodala added eight off the bench in the period.

But the Pacers fought back in the second period, starting the frame with a 20-6 run to retake the lead. From there, it was a back-and-forth contest. By the end of the night, there had been nine ties and nine lead changes.

Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said that he felt the team's ball movement became "stagnant" after the first quarter, due in part to both the Pacers' defensive effort and Curry's absence.

"(We struggled) a little bit because we were without Steph out there, but that's no excuse," Thompson said. "We're limited not having our point guard, but at the same time, we've got plenty of guys that can fill the role, do it collectively."

In addition to Stuckey's big night, four other Pacers players scored in double figures. Miles finished with 13 points and nine rebounds for the Pacers, while Hill and Watson each added 12. Luis Scola contributed 11 points and eight rebounds off the bench.

Thompson led all scorers with 39 points, going 12-for-28 from the field and 5-for-13 from 3-point range. Andre Iguodala added 14 for the visitors.

The Pacers will now face another strong team missing a key player, when they head to Oklahoma City for their first meeting this year with the Thunder. OKC will be without reigning MVP Kevin Durant, who is out for the next week after undergoing a minor foot procedure.

The Pacers and Thunder tip off at 8:00 PM ET on Tuesday night.

Inside the Numbers

Stuckey has now scored 30 or more points in back-to-back games for the first time in his eight-year career. Prior to Friday, the Eastern Washington product hadn't topped 30 points since scoring 32 for the Pistons in Portland on March 16, 2013.

The Pacers limited the Warriors to 38.2 percent shooting on Sunday. It was just the second time all season Golden State shot worse than 40 percent from the field.

The Blue & Gold have also been rolling offensively as of late. They've topped 100 points in eight of their last 11 contests, going 8-0 in those games. The Pacers are 16-6 overall this year when scoring 100 or more.

Miles' nine defensive rebounds were a career high.

The win was the Pacers' 190th since Vogel took over the reins as head coach in 2011. Vogel is now tied with Larry Brown (1993-97) for the most wins by a Pacers head coach in NBA history. Hall of Famer Bob "Slick" Leonard, of course, is the overall wins leader in franchise history, with a combined 529 victories between the ABA and NBA from 1968-80.

You Can Quote Me On That

"We just picked up our defensive disposition, and we were scoring the ball. When you’re scoring the ball it makes the defense a little easier." -Vogel on the Pacers bouncing back after the first quarter

"We just had really good ball movement on the play. We ran the side pick and roll, they doubled the ball handler, Stuck swung it out, we swung it around the horn, G. Hill attacked the rim and then we got them scrambling. Everybody stayed aggressive and made the right play, looking to shoot and making them close out. By the time it got around to the side again, I was over there by myself and I just tried to bend my knees and shoot it with confidence." -Miles on his late 3-pointer that sealed the victory

"We’re getting closer to the playoffs, which was our ultimate goal, but we’re playing better and we’re winning games and we’re feeling better. Everything is flowing better and it looks more natural, so we’re happy. If we play this way, good things will happen." -Scola

"We scored 38 in the first quarter and 60 the rest of the way. Their defense deserves a lot of credit. They are tough and George Hill does a good job and obviously Hibbert (Roy), West (David) are big strong guys. They did a nice job defensively, they deserved to win. We’ve got to be better prepared to execute against that kind of defense." -Kerr

"He’s the MVP of our league and it’s tough to replace a guy of that nature. He sets up a lot of shots for everybody and he makes the game easy for everybody else." -Warriors forward David Lee on Curry's absence

Stat of the Game

Indiana's bench (Stuckey, Watson, Scola, Ian Mahinmi, and Damjan Rudez) combined for 61 points. The Warriors' reserves, meanwhile, managed just 35 points on the evening.


  • The Pacers lead the overall series with the Warriors 45-38 and are 28-14 against the Dubs in games played in the Hoosier state.
  • Indiana has won seven of its past eight contests against Golden State at The Fieldhouse.
  • Curry had played in every game this season prior to Sunday. The former Davidson College All-American hadn't missed a game due to injury since Nov. 22, 2013.

Up Next

The Pacers visit the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday, Feb. 24 at 8:00 PM.