The Pacers had ample opportunities to build a lead at the start of the game as the Pacers were simply playing harder, while the Warriors were missing shots. But the Pacers struggled to finish around the rim and make shots elsewhere. Yet, despite shooting just 21 percent from the field, the game was tied after the first quarter.
The clanks continued as the Warriors methodically extended their lead in the second quarter to put the Pacers down double digits. At one point in the second quarter, the Dubs were 2 for 14 from three land while the Pacers were just 2 for 12.
Quinn Buckner summed up the Pacers play in the first half when Bojan Bogdanovic clanked a corner three-point attempt. As the ball hit hard off the rim, Buckner said, “Oof.”
Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant eventually hit a pair of threes before the break which left the Warriors up 10. Steph Curry had just three points at the break, but Thompson, Durant and Boogie Cousins were all in double figures.
The ten point deficit went the wrong way in a hurry for the Pacers in the third quarter. Curry came out with tons of energy and a will to put his poor first half behind him, making four threes, including a signature buzzer beater at the end of the quarter, to fuel an offensive outburst that reminded everyone why they are the defending champs.
While the Dubs were rolling, the Pacers endured a five minute scoreless stretch in the middle of the third quarter which helped the Warriors lead blow up. Heading into the fourth, the Pacers found themselves worn out and down by 26 points.
With the Pacers’ plane idling for take off, the fourth quarter turned into garbage time as the Pacers were unable to mount a meaningful run of any kind. Dan Burke emptied the bench early to finish out the game.
The Pacers matched their season-low point total with 89 point, avoiding setting a new mark thanks to a late three-pointer by Aaron Holiday.
Thad Young gave as much energy as anyone for the Pacers, constantly grinding against the length of Kevin Durant and the sheer size of Cousins to score 18 points.
Cousins was in bully ball mode from the start, engaging Myles Turner in physical play from the first possession on. Turner responded well early, but both he and Domas Sabonis were steamrolled by the relentless presence of Boogie. Cousins had 19 points while Turner and Sabonis combined for seven points thru three quarters which was essentially when the game was over.
Pacers head home and will no doubt enjoy the two days off they have to recover and regroup after a nasty road trip, before hosting the Denver Nuggets on Sunday.