Tuesday, March 4, 2014 at 7:00 PM ET at Bankers Life Fieldhouse
Game Preview: Pacers (46-13) vs Warriors (36-24)
Scott Agness | March 2, 2014
Before going on the road for six of their next eight games because the Big Ten Basketball Tournament is in town, the Pacers take on the Golden State Warriors, coached by ex-Pacers point guard Mark Jackson.
The Warriors (36-24) have the sixth-best record out West. Tuesday’s game will be their second-to-last game on a six-game trip to Eastern Conference venues, which concludes Wednesday night in Boston. Thus far, they are 2-2 on the trip, most recently losing in Toronto by six. They’ve shown to be a quality road team, having the fourth-most road wins (18) in the league.
Just before the trade deadline, the Warriors made a deal with the Los Angeles Lakers, which sent Kent Bazemore and MarShon Brooks in exchange for guard Steve Blake, who’s averaged 5.2 points and 2.8 assists in six games with his new team.
The Warriors are led by one of the most accurate shooters in the game, Stephen Curry, who trails Lance Stephenson in triples-doubles this season with three. He’s hitting 42 percent of his shots beyond the arc and seemingly has endless range. When not scoring, he creates for his teammates. Curry, along with Klay Thompson have made the most 3-pointers in the league, with 192 and 168, respectively.
Together, the Warriors’ core has the makings to be a very good team and contend for a championship. Throughout the course of this season, they’ve won 10 straight games and yet have also lost five of six.
The keys for the Pacers (46-13) will be minimizing their turnovers, keeping the Warriors out of transition, and not allowing Curry or Thompson to get off. Pacers point guard George Hill has missed the past two games with a bruised left shoulder and his status is up in the air. It doesn’t quite feel right yet, and mostly affects his passing.
Paul George, who’s averaging 23 points and seven rebounds over the last 10 games, landed hard on his tailbone in last game, but expects to play through the pain. He always looks forward to the big games like this one, particularly against a team from his home state of California.
Pacers: George Hill (day-to-day, bruised left shoulder), Paul George (probable, sore lower back), Ian Mahinmi (probable, left hip pointer)
Warriors: Festus Ezeli (out, right knee surgery), Nemanja Nedovic (out, left hamstring strain/right foot inflammation)
“They’re all huge right now, they all feel huge anyway. Golden State is just a terrific, terrific offensive machine, a good (and underrated) defensive team, and one of the best teams in the west so we’re going to have to play another great game.” – Frank Vogel
“It’s going to be a huge week. We’re possibly going to add new players to the lineup. I know [Andrew] Bynum is soon going to be thrown into the rotation. A luxury for us is coach has a lot of depth to play around without taking away what we’re trying to do.” – Paul George on playing three games in four days.
“I’m always up for the big games. I always love to be a part of the big games. And it’s fun playing against good teams so they’re going to bring the most out of us and challenge us. This is a game we got to get.” – Paul George on facing the Warriors
“Defensively, we’re not as sharp as we have been. Teams are scoring a little too high for us, in terms of numbers. But we’ve been able to win in spite of that. As a group, we’re growing knowing some of the challenges that we’re dealing with.” – David West
“The hip is OK. It’s kind of sore right now, but I’m not too concerned about it.” – Ian Mahinmi on his hip injury
- Paul George is shooting 94.5 percent (69-of-73) from the free throw line since Feb. 1.
- Indiana is 10-0 in games played on Tuesday, their most successful day.
- Golden State’s Stephen Cury, Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodala and David Lee join Indiana’s Paul George among the 28 players selected to the 2014-16 USA Men’s National Team pool.
- The Pacers have won six straight over the Warriors at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, with Golden State’s last victory occurring back on Feb. 5, 2007.
- After going undrafted and playing a few years overseas, the Warriors signed C.J. Watson in 2007. He played there for three seasons and averaged 8.7 points, 2.4 assists and 2.3 rebounds per game.
- Warriors big man Hilton Armstrong, who was in camp with the Pacers last fall, was signed to a second 10-day contract Feb. 22.
January 20: Lance Stephenson and George Hill connected on back-to-back 3s late to ensure the Pacers opened a five-game road trip out west the right way with a 102-94 victory in Oakland. Indiana went ahead by 20 in the third period, but the Warriors would cut their deficit to three with less than four minutes to play.
Stephenson came up three assists shy of a triple-double — 14 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists — and Hill buried 3-of-4 attempts from long range. Stephen Curry missed 8-of-11 3-point field goals but still managed a game-high 24 points, and nine assists. The Pacers were active on the offensive glass. They pulled down 17 boards and racked up 21 second-chance points.
Broadcast Information | Find Local Listings »
TV: FOX Sports Indiana – Chris Denari (play-by-play), Quinn Buckner (analyst), Brooke Olzendam (sideline reporter/host)
Radio: FM 107.5/AM 1070 The Fan, Pacers Radio Network – Mark Boyle (play-by-play), Slick Leonard (analyst), Kevin Lee (sideline reporter/host)
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