Photo credit: nba.com/warriors
by Jerry Feitelberg
The Golden State Warriors blew out the visiting Indiana Pacers 112-89 at Oracle Arena Thursday night in Oakland. The Warriors, who played great defense on the 3-1 road trip, continued that trend Thursday. The Pacers came into the game with the fourth best record in the Eastern Conference. They needed a win to maintain the home-court advantage over the fifth place Boston Celtics. The two teams will meet in the first round of the playoffs.
The Pacers played great defense. They held opposing teams to 104 points a game. They can shoot, too. They are in the top five in scoring and making three-point shots. The Warriors would need their “A” game on defense if they hoped to win.
The teams struggled to put points on the board in the first quarter. Both sides concentrated on stopping the other’s offense. The first period was a low-scoring affair, and it ended tied at 19-19.
The Warriors moved the ball well on offense. They outscored the Pacers 34-24 in the period and finished leading 53-43. DeMarcus Cousins, back in action after missing two games with a sore ankle, led the Warriors with 13 points. Kevin Durant had 11, and Klay Thompson had 8. Steph Curry made just one three and finished the half with 3 points. Thaddeus Young led the Pacers with 11, and Bojan Bogdanovich was second with 8.
The Warriors put the offense into gear in the third quarter. They outscored the Pacers 35-19, and the defense put the clamps on the Pacer offense. Steph made four threes in the period to lead the way. The Warriors kept Curry on the bench the entire fourth quarter, but that didn’t slow them down one bit. They increased the lead to 30 103-73, and the reserves coasted to the win 112-89.
Game Notes and Stats: With the win, the Warriors improve to 49-22 and remain 1/2 game ahead of the Denver Broncos in the race for the Western Division crown. The Pacers fall to 44-29.
All five Warrior starters were in double figures. DeMarcus Cousins led the way with a double-double. He put 19 points on the board and pulled down 11 boards. Steph Curry made 5 threes and finished with 15. Kevin Durant had 15, and Klay Thompson had 18. Draymond Green’s line was 10 points, 7 rebounds, and 5 assists.
Three of the Pacers’ bench players were in double figures: Tyreke Evans 20, Aaron Holiday 13, and Doug McDermott 11. The only Pacers starter in double digits was Thaddeus Young with 18.
The Warriors recorded 32 assists on 44 baskets. They moved the ball well and found the open man to take the three-point shot. The Warriors had to work hard to get their shots off as the Pacers’ defense tried to blanket Curry and Thompson to force the other players to do the scoring. Their theory worked for a while, but the Warriors broke down their defense and won the game.
Up Next: The Warriors meet the Dallas Mavericks Saturday night at Oracle Arena. Game time is at 5:30 pm. The Detroit Pistons face the Warriors on Sunday at Oracle. Game time is also at 5:30 pm.