The Indiana Pacers had more than one chance tonight to gut out a tough win against the Golden State Warriors, but at every corner in the second half, they were unable to make consecutive plays to flip the script on an exciting Warriors team. After a poor shooting first half, they found more than capable shooting, but the extension of an 8-0 Warriors run to close the half bled over into the second half, with the Indiana Pacers committing eight third quarter turnovers that ruined a good shooting quarter.
Add in the Warriors hitting more than one timely bucket to keep the Pacers at bay, and it just seemed like it wouldn't get turned around. Jarrett Jack was tremendous for the Warriors, hitting an of-course half court shot at the end of the third. If that wasn't sign enough that the Warriors were likely going to come out on top of this one, a rare string of stops for Indiana with the team down nine resulted in no shot attempts, only turnovers. The Pacers just couldn't rattle off a run in Winning Time, and the result became a 103-92 loss in Oakland.
The Pacers were once again led by David West and George Hill, who each continue to play high level ball. West had a game high 23 points with eight rebounds as Hill pitched in with 19 on a number of big shots. The good news is that the Pacers have certainly found some stability at the top of their roster, and despite the chances of off games, there's little to shake these two.
The bad news is that Indiana can't field a five-man lineup at any time that can actually contribute at a high level for any amount of time. It's always at best four on five. Lance Stephenson came out early and played at a high level, scoring eight and Roy Hibbert had a nice game with 15 & 7, adding in five blocks. Stephenson didn't make a play of note the rest of the night, but Hibbert did a fair job through the night, especially late. Unfortunately, Paul George's shot didn't drop in once, but as isn't really a surprise, five of his seven attempts were threes with no trips to the line.
There was little to no production in the first half from the bench, but as has been the note lately, they rounded themselves into serviceable games for the most part. Ian Mahinmi led the second unit with 10 points with good offense coming from Gerald Green and D.J. Augustin, even though Jarrett Jack spent every second of his time on the floor torching the Indiana second unit.
Indiana shot just 39% in the first half, but managed to get above 48% in the fourth quarter, showing how well they were shooting the ball, but 11 second half turnovers killed any chances they had at making a comeback. While they won the points off turnovers, the Warriors scored 13 points in the second half off of turnovers. To help their second half intensity, the Warriors constantly fought harder for loose balls and offensive rebounds.
Poor baskeball IQ and bad plays to close the second and third quarter gave the Warriors five points off of turnovers, important considering the Warriors were playing looser with an 8-12 point lead throughout the fourth rather than a tighter 3-5 point window that could've helped play in Indiana's favor.
Despite the unfortunate nature of tonight's loss, the Pacers still sit at 2-1 on the road trip, finishing out 2-1 in California, which is good despite the team finding themselves again below .500. Indiana will finish out their road trip in Chicago on Tuesday, hoping to return to the win column against the Bulls.
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