We’ve always known that the Warriors are good enough to play with anybody in the NBA. Tuesday night they proved it again, beating the team with the number one record in the league – the Indiana Pacers – 98-96. The Warriors were lead by the scoring of Klay Thompson, who netted 16 of his 25 points in the 4th quarter, including a turnaround jumper with 0.6 seconds left to give the Dubs the final lead they needed.
Golden State (37-24) were looking for revenge against an Indiana team (46-14) that came into Oakland in January and decimated the Warriors early, coasting to a comfortable win. The Warriors are now a different team from that game – a deeper, better team. The difference is readily apparent when looking at the bench scoring: In January the team’s benches scored 19-16 favoring Indiana. Tuesday the Warrior’s bench outscored the Pacer’s bench 34-11.
Although the Warrior’s were up by 12 late in the 4th quarter, they saw their lead quickly evaporate into a tie-ball game, steered by the superhero theatrics of the Pacer’s All-Star Paul George. The Warrior’s needed a stop and were able to force George into a step-back three-pointer that bounced long. Curry was barely able to corral it, but Coach Jackson called a timeout, and it set up the play that would decide the game.
With the clock running out, Klay Thompson found himself with a one-on-one post up on the right baseline against the smaller George Hill. Thompson turned over his left shoulder and rose above Hill to nail a fadeaway jumper. George had an opportunity to win the game with less than a second left, but the Warriors forced him into a difficult long shot that missed off of the back iron.
“I was planning that shot the whole time, honestly,” said Thompson post-game. “We gave them one in oakland…we showed resilience and we didn’t fold. That’s all that matters. We grind it out, we played their style, and luckily we came away with the win.”
The Warriors improve to 3-2 on this road trip and will next take on the Boston Celtics Wednesday.
Notes: Andre Iguodala dislocated his right index finger late in the 4th quarter. X-rays were negative.