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Pacers Links: Pacers forced to regroup after tough loss to face Bobcats on the road

After a furious comeback came up two points short against Golden State, the Pacers were left looking at themselves for answers to get better in a hurry.

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The Pacers took their loss to the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday night hard, but there was more than just the normal level of frustration evident in the post-game locker room.

Veterans David West and Rasual Butler were having a very public, private chat just outside the main dressing area as the media entered the locker room. The hushed discussion lasted several minutes with Ian Mahinmi joining in at one point. Team things were discussed, and the indication from the tone the players seemed to take with each other was that they had to get everybody back on the same page.

We don't know what happened after the game which led to the vets putting their heads together, but we do know this loss seemed to shake the Pacers straight. Their defense which prides itself on making life difficult for opponents has been too spotty of late. As West mentioned after the game, the Pacers allowed Golden State's shooters to get too comfortable. Klay Thompson in particular made himself feel right at home in the Fieldhouse.

"They were too comfortable and I don't think we stayed the course, in terms of our aggressiveness and our fight," West said. "They're a jump-shooting team and they got comfortable. Thompson got real comfortable. We had to fight uphill basically the six minutes in the fourth quarter just to (try and) steal a win on our home court."

Actually, it was still a 12-point game with just over five minutes to go before West triggered a 10-0 run with a jumper and then later picked Steph Curry for a steal and dunk. But with the ball and a chance to take the lead, the Pacers didn't look like they were on the same page for their final full possession. West and Paul George were directing traffic (Lance) to get people in the right spots. They ran the play action bunched up in the middle of the floor which allowed Golden State to switch and cover up the initial look for PG. Forced to create late in the shot clock, an off-target three from PG was the end result.

So this loss leads to another tough challenge on the road in Charlotte on Wednesday night. No time to work through their issues in practice, but it is time to change their approach, as West said.

"Mentally, we've got to be way tougher than we are, because it's time," West said. "It's just time. It's not just something that you can just a week before the playoffs say, 'OK,' ... You've got to work your way into it. As a group, it's time. We've got a tough 3-game trip coming up, and it's just time."

The salty post-game locker room seemed to find the Pacers at a potential turning point where they can either come together under the leadership of their veteran voices or continue mounting their frustrations while watching the foundation from the early-season effort toward their stated goals further erode.

Despite all of the drama at the Fieldhouse, the Pacers remained two games up on the Heat who took a loss in Houston. There's still no doubt that the Pacers are championship contenders this year. Now they just have to play like it.

Check out the links:

Warriors at Pacers - Box score

Game Rewind: Pacers 96, Warriors 98 | THE OFFICIAL SITE OF THE INDIANA PACERS

Pacers fall to Warriors 98-96 | Indianapolis Star |

Warriors hand Pacers rare home loss, 98-96 - AP

Game 61: Warriors 98, Indiana 96 -

Radio Highlights: Pacers 96, Warriors 98 | Pacers Blogs

Rewind: Thompson delivers when Warriors need him most | CSN Bay Area

Thompson’s last-second shot stuns Pacers - 1070 The Fan

O'Neal Revival Continues in Return to Indiana With Golden State Warriors | THE OFFICIAL SITE OF THE INDIANA PACERS

Former Pacer Jermaine O'Neal was (and is) oh-so-good | Indianapolis Star |


O'Neal Revival Continues in Return to Indiana With Golden State Warriors | THE OFFICIAL SITE OF THE INDIANA PACERS

Recap: Klay's fallaway jumper with 0.6 left lifts Warriors over Pacers 98-96 - Golden State Of Mind A Wash (Why the carjacking of Miami makes the Pacers loss to Golden State edible)

Post-Game Grades: Pacers Nearly Come Back to Beat Warriors But Fall Short | 8 Points, 9 Seconds

Pacers point guard George Hill tells the epic tale of his childhood horse, Ropey (Video) | Ball Don't Lie - Yahoo Sports

Warriors coach Mark Jackson dominates Stephen Curry in a three-point shooting contest (Video) | Ball Don't Lie - Yahoo Sports