Golden State Warriors Lose To Indiana Pacers 102-94 In Very Physical Game


January 20, 2014; Oakland, CA, USA; Indiana Pacers small forward Paul George (24, left) and Golden State Warriors small forward Andre Iguodala (9) fight for the ball during the second quarter at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

This is the type of game that I’ve been waiting for all year long. A game where the officials don’t make too many calls and let two of the best defensive teams in the NBA battle it out hard. In the end, however, a slow start to the game doomed the Warriors to a loss to NBA’s hottest team in the Indiana Pacers by a final score of 102-94.

After ripping off 10 straight wins, the Warriors have struggled with their defense lately. In the last couple of games, they were able to contain their opponents, but in losses, when their defense is working for them, they’re struggling with their 3-point shooting. In this case, offense and defense seem to be inversely proportional to each other.

Stephen Curry had 24 points and nine assists, and Indiana’s superstar, Paul George, had 23 points. Klay Thompson, who finished with 17 points, found his groove a little too late. Bench scoring was a problem for the Warriors, again.

The Warriors trailed most of this game by 10 to 15 points. The first half was disastrous, defensively speaking, as the Pacers got right on it with a hot start to the game. Indiana outscored the Warriors 35-21 in the first quarter. From then on, however, the Warriors were able to get some good stops. Unfortunately for them, however, Indiana is the best defensive team in the NBA, so getting back in the game was an arduous task.

In the first 1.5 minutes of the second half, the Pacers scored seven points to extend their 13-point halftime lead to 20. Things were looking bleak for the Warriors until Mark Jackson inspired them with his talk about “championship basketball.” The Warriors battled hard and fought until the buzzer sounded in the fourth quarter, but could never really seem to get closer than two points.

Despite some good play from David Lee, who finished with 20 points and 12 rebounds, the Warriors struggled to get a body on Roy Hibbert, who had a monster game with 14 points, 13 rebounds and two blocks.

Every time the Warriors seemed like they had a chance, the Pacers would fire back with an excellent defensive play, or a clutch buzzer-beating 3-pointer from George Hill, Lance Stephenson, or Paul George.

The Pacers demonstrated why they are NBA’s best team tonight, and they did so in a defensive fashion. This was the first game of a 5-game home-stand for the Warriors. This is where they really need to capitalize if they want to head into the All-Star Break with a legitimate chance to overtake the Houston Rockets or the Los Angeles Clippers.