This game between the Golden State Warriors and the Indiana Pacers certainly has my vote for one of the games of year. Tuesday night, the Warriors played the Pacers’ type of game, beat them at it and silenced the best home team in the NBA to claim the 98-86 victory. Klay Thompson, the hero, now joins the party with Stephen Curry and Andre Iguodala with game winners.
When Klay does well, the Warriors do well. Simple math:
Warriors are 15-6 when Klay Thompson goes for at least 20 points. He leads the Warriors with 23 points. Dubs lead by 6 with 4:13 remaining
— GSWStats (@gswstats) March 5, 2014
For the entire game, the Warriors and the Pacers played neck and neck, with the Dubs occasionally pulling ahead by more than 10 points. Unfortunately for the Warriors, they failed to consolidate their lead and Indiana continually attacked and ground their way back into a close game. The Pacers struggled against the Warriors offensively, shooting just 41 percent from the field and 18 percent from the 3-point line.
Against the best defense in the NBA, the Warriors knew they had to come out with some offensive firepower. Led by Thompson, who finished with 25 points, they shot 44 percent from the field and 50 percent from the 3-point line. Thompson exploded in the fourth quarter with 16 points. His Splash Brother, Stephen Curry, flirted with a triple-double, finishing with 19 points, eight rebounds and six assists.
The game got pretty choppy in the fourth quarter, where the Warriors were leading by 12. They continued to pile it on, but then a turn of events came: Paul George, who finished with 26 points, shot a turnaround just as the shot clock expired. He was awarded a foul, and two of Indiana’s 22 free throws, 21 of which they connected on. From then on, the Pacers exploded to a 14-2 run, the Warriors’ only bucket coming off a David Lee layup.
Coming into the last couple of possessions, the Warriors had the ball with 47 seconds left on the baseline. They threw it in to Curry, but he stepped out of bounds, causing another turnover for him (he had four on the night). With 46 seconds to go, the Pacers had the perfect two-for-one opportunity but they squandered it by running the shot clock all the way down; George missed a deep 3-pointer.
On the ensuing possession for the Warriors, they had 10 seconds to work with after running the clock down a little bit. Mark Jackson drew up a play for Thompson to get the ball on a much smaller George Hill. He backed his defender down and launched a tough turnaround fadeaway from the baseline. Swish: The Warriors led 98-96 with 0.6 seconds left. George’s 3 on the next play was off line.
After a hard-fought and physical win over the Indiana Pacers, who boast one of the NBA’s best home records, the Warriors’ road trip has taken a surprising turn for the better. They now head even further east to play the Boston Celtics in their final game of this 11-day trip.