Gameday: Warriors at Pacers - 3/4/14


The Warriors pulled off an impressive nail-biting victory on Tuesday, defeating the Pacers 98-96 in Indiana. Klay Thompson hit a game-winning turnaround jumper with 0.6 seconds left on the clock to seal the victory. The clutch shot accounted for two of Thompson’s team-leading 25 points, 16 of which were scored in the fourth quarter. Stephen Curry totaled 19 points, eight rebounds and six assists, while the bench accounted for 34 much-needed points. The win pushes the Dubs’ record to 37-24 and makes them the only Western Conference team to win in both Miami and Indiana this season. The Warriors will look to finish their six-game road trip on a high note when they take on the Celtics in Boston tomorrow.

Mark Jackson
On Klay Thompson's last shot:
“That was the look we wanted. Get Paul George out of the picture. I thought we did a great job of reading. The guys got it in Klay’s hands with plenty of time and we wanted to take the last shot. Klay did a great job of getting to his spot. He had it going for a while, so it was a big time shot by him.”
On Thompson's fourth quarter:
“He was great. I wanted to make sure he was fine physically because it was a demanding game. He had to either defend George or Stephenson. But he’s a guy that’s durable, we take it for granted. He’s a guy that’s never missed a game, but he was big time.”
On the bench:
“I thought our bench was exceptional. Scoring the basketball, taking care of the basketball and competing at a high level. It was just a thing of beauty and a total team effort.”
On beating Miami and Indiana at home:
“We know who we are, so it’s no surprise. With all due respect to those teams, when we play our best basketball we can beat anybody. The problem is, if we don’t, we can be beaten by anybody. There’s going to be nights where we look exceptional. There’s going to be nights where we don’t play our best basketball. If you’re with us, be with us.”
Klay Thompson
On the last shot:
“I just tried to use my body to back him down and make some space for the shot. Yes it’s a great feeling to come in here and get a win, its huge, especially against the team with best record in the NBA. The fourth quarter I was a little more active. We did a better job of ball movement and I was able to get a lot of open looks. But there at the end it felt good to silence the crowd.”
Jermaine O'Neal
On Klay Thompson's fourth quarter performance:
“I just tried to use my body to back him down and make some space for the shot. Yes it’s a great feeling to come in here and get a win, its huge, especially against the team with best record in the NBA. The fourth quarter I was a little more active. We did a better job of ball movement and I was able to get a lot of open looks. But there at the end it felt good to silence the crowd.”
On the bench:
“We’re going to have to come together if we want a chance to win it all. Everybody is feeling more comfortable with the recent additions of Steve (Blake) and Jordan (Crawford), and Harrison (Barnes) and Draymond (Green) are playing well also.”
On his reaction to being back in Indiana:
“To be honest I found myself sitting back and so many memories came rushing back. It was great to see the arena packed and to see the crowd going crazy. It brought chills to me. I am so happy for the city, happy for organization. Getting in the game and getting the applause almost threw me off my game. My first shot was an air ball left, but I am extremely happy for the city. I will always consider myself a Pacer, whether people want it that way or not. My dream scenario is to have the Golden State Warriors playing the Indiana Pacers in the NBA finals. This will be my favorite team to follow when I’m done playing.”

The Warriors have alternated wins and losses through the first four games of this six-game road trip and they wouldn't mind if that trend continued through Tuesday when they visit the Pacers. Owners of the top record in the NBA, Indiana won this season's first matchup against the Warriors on January 20. The Dubs are looking to return the favor on the Pacers' home floor in the finale of the two-game season series.
The Warriors were unable to recover from a 14-2 Raptors run in the fourth quarter of Sunday's 104-98 loss in Toronto. Stephen Curry had a game-high 34 points and seven assists and David Lee had 20 points and 11 boards, but it wasn't enough on a day that the Warriors shot just 42.0 percent from the field. Down seven with five minutes left in the game, the Warriors fought back and had a chance to tie or take the lead, but a missed 3-pointer followed by three straight turnovers proved to be the difference. The Warriors were out-scored 29-20 in the fourth quarter and fall to 2-2 on the road trip. GAME RECAP
One basketball stat that has begun to carry greater significance over the last 10 years is plus-minus, which measures the point differential in the game when a particular player is on the floor. Of the top nine players in that category this season, seven of them will take the court on Tuesday when the Dubs face the Pacers. Andre Iguodala leads the league in that category with a +8.8 per game, and teammates Stephen Curry (fourth, +7.4), David Lee (eighth, +7.0) and Klay Thompson (14th, +6.3). Indiana, meanwhile, is represented among the plus-minus leaders by Paul George (second, +7.7), David West (third, +7.6), Roy Hibbert (sixth, +7.2) and George Hill (ninth, +6.8). Considering all those players are mainstays in their team's starting lineup, it's safe to say that this inter-conference matchup features two of the top five-man units in the game.
The Warriors and Pacers boast two of the top three defenses in the NBA - Indiana is first in defensive rating and the Warriors are third - and the blueprint of how each team gets it done is quite similar: a solid big to anchor the middle and a ball-hawking swingman who can guard multiple positions. Even though their offensive numbers don't particularly stand out, Andrew Bogut and Andre Iguodala are very valuable pieces for the Warriors, and the same can be said for Draymond Green and Jermaine O'Neal in their roles coming off the bench. Playing against an elite opponent, points can be hard to come by on Tuesday, but the Warriors can certainly keep themselves in the game by playing some good defense of their own.
The Pacers are a team without any glaring weaknesses and they'll enter Tuesday's matchup as winners of five in a row. The team is very balanced with six players averaging double figures in scoring, led by Paul George, who has developed into one of the best two-way players in the league. George started the All-Star Game last month and he was joined in New Orleans by center Roy Hibbert. Already a threat to win it all this season, Indiana added some depth at the trade deadline with the acquisition of Evan Turner from Philadelphia. Turner's all-around skillset will fit right in with a Pacers team that has talent and back-up talent at every position. The Pacers have lost just three games at home this season, and they have out-scored their opponents by 13.8 points per game while holding them under 40 percent shooting at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. On paper, Tuesday's matchup is the biggest challenge of the road trip for the Warriors, and they'll likely need to play at a very high level to pick up the victory.

Injury Report
GSW: Festus Ezeli (recovery from right knee surgery) and Nemanja Nedovic (left hamstring strain/right foot inflammation) are out.

IND: George Hill (bruised left shoulder) game-time decision.




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