Without Paul George, Myles Turner, and C.J. Miles, the Indiana Pacers took the beating they expected to take against the Golden State Warriors. The Pacers only led at 2-0 in a game where their best highlight was cutting a 15-point deficit to 10 halfway through the second quarter.
After pulling to within 10 at 44-34, the Warriors closed the half on a 17-6 run, capped off by a Stephen Curry three-quarter court shot that didn’t count. As if that run weren’t enough to put the nail in the game, the Warriors would score 39 in the third quarter, setting up a 12-minute garbage time exhibition that still didn’t favor the Pacers, as they would lose by 37.
The Pacers managed to keep the game within reach for about a quarter and a half, but that came with no help from their own offense. The Pacers had just five first half assists, shooting 32.7%. Defensively, they couldn’t prevent much of what the Warriors wanted to do, who had another night over 30 assists.
To make matters worse for the Pacers, they couldn’t even escape the game without injury. Jeff Teague left the game halfway through the third quarter with an ankle sprain. Teague was diagnosed as questionable to return, but given the lopsided nature of the game, there was no reason for him to return even if he could, so the severity of the injury is unknown.
Teague was one of three Pacers in double figures, scoring 11, but getting a nice pair of steals to give Indiana a couple of rare fast break opportunities. Thaddeus Young would lead the starters with 14 points. Glenn Robinson III had some nice moments, scoring eight with a pair of threes, but was overwhelmed in being expected to guard Kevin Durant.
Indiana didn’t get much out of Al Jefferson or Monta Ellis. The duo combined for nine points, but Jefferson had five fouls in 21 minutes and Ellis had four turnovers. The backups in both cases played better, with Kevin Seraphin nearing a double double with eight points and 14 rebounds (six offensive rebounds) and Rodney Stuckey leading all Pacers with 21 points.
The team can’t take a mulligan in the W-L column, but unlike the disastrous Phoenix game, there’s very little to take from this game besides the loss. Even the young guys didn’t offer much consolation, with Joe Young, Georges Niang, and Rakeem Christmas combining for 1-14 shooting, all three points scored between them coming from Christmas on an and one.
Indiana will turn their attention to the Atlanta Hawks, who they’ll host on Wednesday. Leading up to the game, they’ll look for good news on the injury front in hopes of getting help back to return to the win column.