The schedule did the Indiana Pacers no favors on Monday night. On the same day that leading scorer Victor Oladipo underwent season-ending knee surgery in Miami, the NBA's juggernaut paid a visit to Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
The Golden State Warriors (36-14) rolled to their 11th straight win behind strong performances from four All-Stars, handing Indiana (32-17) a 132-100 defeat.
Stephen Curry scored 23 of his game-high 26 points in the first half, going 10-for-13 from the field and 6-for-8 from 3-point range. New addition DeMarcus Cousins added a season-high 22 points to go along with six rebounds and four assists in his fifth game since returning to the court from rupturing his Achilles tendon a year ago with the New Orleans Pelicans.
"That team can just flat-out score," Pacers head coach Nate McMillan said. "(They scored) 40 points in the first quarter and we were just playing from behind the entire game.
"We've basically got to go back to the drawing board with our group with so many new players and new roles. It's going to take us some time to get a rhythm."
Pacers center Myles Turner led Indiana with 16 points in the loss on 7-of-12 shooting, while also tallying six rebounds, two steals, and two blocks. Bojan Bogdanovic added 15 points, going 5-for-13 from the field but 3-for-6 from 3-point range.
The Pacers hung with the two-time defending champs in the opening minutes. In fact, Darren Collison's 3-pointer with 5:30 remaining in the first quarter tied the game at 16.
But Curry buried a trey 12 seconds later to put Golden State back in front. The two-time MVP wound up reeling off eight unanswered points to trigger what proved to be a 24-3 Warriors run.
"We had some lapses (defensively)," Pacers point guard Darren Collison said after the loss. "Granted, they've got some great offensive players on their team, but we just didn't feel like we played Pacers basketball (over that stretch)."
Pacers rookie Aaron Holiday ended that run with a corner three in the closing seconds of the opening frame, but the damage was done, as Indiana headed into the second quarter trailing 40-22.
Curry picked up where he left off when he reentered the game midway through the second quarter, hitting his next four shots and racking up 10 more points over a three-minute span.
The visitors led by as many as 23 in the second quarter. Indiana trimmed it to 18 on Turner's driving dunk with 6.1 seconds left, only for Curry to throw in a deep heave at the halftime buzzer on the other end to give Golden State a 69-48 lead at the break.
The Blue & Gold had some good moments in the third quarter, scoring 31 points in the frame and stringing together a 10-2 run midway through the period to trim the deficit to 17. But the Warriors scored 32 points themselves in the period and took a commanding 101-79 advantage into the fourth.
The Pacers rested four starters in the fourth quarter, while both Curry and Kevin Durant — the NBA's second- and fourth-leading scorers entering Monday — sat out the frame for Golden State with the outcome well in hand.
Collison finished with 13 points and eight assists for Indiana. Holiday added 12 points, going 4-for-5 from 3-point range, while Thaddeus Young added 11 points, seven rebounds, and four assists.
Durant finished with 16 points and seven assists for Golden State, while fellow All-Star Klay Thompson also scored 16.
Both teams were without starters on Monday night.
Tyreke Evans was supposed to start at shooting guard for Oladipo, but was a late scratch due to lower back soreness. He was replaced by two-way guard Edmond Sumner, who got his first career start.
Sumner struggled from the field, going just 1-for-10 and finishing with two points, three rebounds, and two steals.
Warriors All-Star forward Draymond Green got the night off, as Golden State elected to rest him on the final stop of a five-game road trip. Second-year big man Jordan Bell started for Green.
Indiana now hits the road for a four-game road trip that begins in Washington on Wednesday night and continues in Orlando on Thursday on the second night of a back-to-back.
"Nobody's going to feel sorry for us," Collison said. "We don't feel sorry for ourselves. We're going to continue to play hard and we're going to try to get some wins on this trip."
Photo Credit: Jessica Hoffman
Inside the Numbers
Golden State's 40 points in the first quarter were the most by a Pacers opponent in an opening frame all season. The previous high was 38, set by Cleveland on Jan. 8 and matched by Phoenix on Jan. 15.
Indiana nearly matched the Warriors from beyond the 3-point arc, going 12-for-30 (40 percent) while the visitors went 13-for-31 (41.9 percent from beyond the arc).
Holiday scored in double digits for the first time since Dec. 23 and set a new career high for 3-pointers made (four).
The Warriors outscored Indiana 60-42 in the paint and shot 54.1 percent from the field to the Pacers' .426 field-goal percentage.
Golden State's 39 assists were the most by a Pacers opponent this season, one more than the Lakers had on Nov. 29.
You Can Quote Me On That
"We can now look at the game tape and look at ourselves and try to come up with a different style of play to personalize what we want to do on the offensive side of the floor to take advantage of the guys we have in the first unit and the second unit." -McMillan
"We'll figure it out, it's just a stretch. We have to stay positive and understand that teams go through this. It's a different transition, but no excuses. We go out there and we're going to play hard. There's no doubt in my mind that this team is going to be on the up track." -Collison
"The vibe is just off right now. Hopefully, with this road trip, us getting away a little bit and getting on the road, spending some time together and just finding ourselves a little bit, I think that might help us." -Young
"Getting in a rhythm was kind of hard...Today my offense wasn't really going, but defensively, I think that's something I can bring to the team." -Sumner on his first start
"He's got this skillset that you can't really fathom. That step-back three at the end of the first half...it doesn't really matter what time, he's always one shot away from being on fire." -Warriors coach Steve Kerr on Curry
Stat of the Night
Golden State has averaged 128.9 points per game over its current 11-game win streak.
- It was Indy 500 Night on Monday and IndyCar drivers Ed Carpenter, James Hinchcliffe, and reigning Indianapolis 500 champion Will Power attended the game and interacted with both fans and Pacers players.
- Turner received a Flagrant 1 foul for taking down Cousins on a fastbreak with 7:35 remaining in the first quarter.
- A special message from Oladipo to Pacers fans aired in the arena just prior to tipoff. In addition, all fans at the game received a "Together 4 Vic" gold t-shirt.
The Pacers travel to Washington to take on Bradley Beal and the Washington Wizards on Wednesday, Jan. 30 at 8:00 PM ET.
After a four-game road trip, the Pacers will return to Bankers Life Fieldhouse to host LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday, Feb. 5 at 7:00 PM ET. Find Tickets »