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Pacers erupt for 47-point second quarter, hold off Warriors for win: Running Thoughts
Haliburton bounced back to lead the Pacers with 29 points and Mathurin scored 24 as the Pacers won both meetings this season against the reigning champs.
Here are my running thoughts from the Pacers’ 125-119 win over the Golden State Warriors Wednesday night at Gainbridge Fieldhouse.
Rick Carlisle looking back on their 87-82 loss to the Miami Heat on Monday: “I asked our guys yesterday how many of them had not played in an NBA playoff game and quite a few raised their hands. And I said, ‘Well, now you have. That’s what it is.’ It’s great experience and we got to build on it.”
Steph Curry and Draymond Green will play. The Warriors are without Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins and Andre Iguoadala.
Hundreds of fans filled the stands on the south end waiting to watch Curry warm up more than an hour before the game. There’s nothing like it, no one who is a bigger draw before games.
The roars continued for Curry during pre-game intros.
Rev It Up: Indiana native and former Pacer Don Buse (1972-77, 1980-82).
The Pacers were issued a delay of game before tip-off. You don’t see that often.
Curry scored on the first possession of the game, and had a quick eight points — double the Pacers’ four. It’s not just that the Warriors lost to a skeleton Pacers group nine days ago, they also have lost three of their past four games.
5:02: Curry sinks his second 3-pointer already and has 13 points; he had a season-low 12 points (on 3-of-17 shooting) in 38 minutes last week.
Not starting for the second straight game, Jalen Smith is getting more time as the solo 5 man. That’s the position he had always played so I’m sure it’s more natural for him. (He only played 17 minutes.)
The Pacers, led by the reserves, closed the quarter well. On a 16-6 run to have a one-point lead. I like the assertive play early from Buddy Hield. And the Warriors turned it over seven times.
10:26: Turner's Block — the Pacers fan section — chanting "Draymond Hates You" with Jordan Poole at the free throw line. Then, they shouted “You Got Knocked Out” during his second attempt.
Hello, Bennedict Mathurin. He scores seven of their first nine points in the quarter.
Haliburton afterward: “When Benn makes a shot, you probably should give him the ball again because it always feels like he scores in bunches. If he makes one bucket, it feels like it’s four or five in a row.”
6:11: Pacers take a double-digit lead on a Myles Turner 3-pointer, 47-36. It was also Haliburton’s first assist after he chased his own miss.
3:04: Shots are falling and the Pacers are in a good flow offensively. They’ve made five 3s in a row and ballooned their lead to 22 via a 22-8 run. It’s already a 39-point second quarter and it’s not over yet.
A second quarter to remember by the Pacers: 47 points, 9 of 13 from range.
Haliburton postgame: “Just being able to get stops and play in transition. When we play in transition, we’re a really good basketball team.”
One game after being held to 82 points, the Pacers have 74 in the first half and lead the Warriors by 20. Curry sinks a buzzer-beating 3 for 27 points in the half.
A scary moment just before the half ended as Hield went down in what could be a non-contact injury. He ran back on defense, then limped off the court. But then about 10 minutes later, he sprinted out on the court to beat T.J. McConnell and be the first player on the court for halftime shooting, as usual. So all clear.
Warriors changing things up, starting Jonathan Kuminga over Kevon Looney in the half.
6:03: The inevitable Warriors run, 19-1, to cut it to five.
Carlisle postgame: “Playing with a lead can be challenging in this league. You got the lead by playing fast and playing aggressive, but then coming out of halftime, they go small with another athlete in the game and now you playing small leads to some frantic shots and runs. In the end, I love the way we held it together.
I spotted a Pacers fan wearing their City Edition jersey this year, confirming that at least one was purchased.
3:24 Mathurin wanted in on the fun, buried back-to-back 3-pointers. A jolt of energy off the bench the Pacers needed.
2:11: Curry, who has 38 points, is in obvious pain after reaching in for a steal. Looks like his left shoulder. He then went back to the locker room, Pacers up 93-80. (He did not return and plans to get an MRI on Thursday.)
The Warriors outscored the Pacers by 14 in the quarter to cut the deficit to just six. Whether Curry can return will be huge, but he remains back in the locker room to begin the 4th.
9:42: Oshae Brissett rolled the ball in and then McConnell burned 16 seconds on the game clock before finally touching it across halfcourt. That’s the longest I can ever remember seeing that done. (I need to ask him about this.)
8:24: Green receives a technical after arguing his foul of Mathurin on a 3-point attempt. He was still mad at Tyler Ford, too, for being called for a travel minutes earlier. … That became a five-point play, including the free throw from Hield.
8:10: Green won’t let it go. And 14 seconds later, he’s ejected after another technical. To make matters worse, Curry was just ruled out for the game.
High praise from Carlisle before the game: “Green is a great playmaker. He’s the best point-power forward I’ve ever seen and brings a lot of juice to the game.”
Warriors in a 1-2-2 zone, like we saw last game from the Heat. I’m surprised we haven’t seen more of it.
1:25: Just a three-point game, 122-119
1:06: Offensive foul on Turner is reversed after review. So instead of his sixth foul, he shot two free throws — and made one. Credit assistant Mike Weiner for telling Carlisle to challenge. Turner then got a block on the defensive end to secure the win.
Turner: “That was huge, man. Shout-out to coach for saving that challenge. Those come in handy at the end of the game there. If I'm not in the game, certain plays don't happen. I was glad I was able to get that opportunity to make a play for my team.”
Carlisle: “Biggest play of the game, obviously, in terms of stemming the tide.”
The Pacers swept the season series with a 125-119 win.
Carlisle on the Warriors’ second-half surge: “It was a hellacious run, their role players stepped up in Curry’s absence and I just love the poise of our team.”
They spent time at practice Tuesday on their half-court offense and the need to move the ball. Tallying 30 assists on 44 field goals is a good indication of success. They shot 50.6%, but did have 18 turnovers.
The Pacers — now 15-14 — converted 24 turnovers by the Warriors into 33 points, including 20 fast break points. That’s more like it…
Carlisle: “I thought we did some good things when we needed to. It’s the balance of playing with aggression when you have the lead, and you have to be aggressive but not frantic.”
Before this one, I wrote about Haliburton wanting to move past his dud of a game on Monday. “Yeah, the last two days have sucked,” he said after making five 3s and finishing with a team-high 29 points.
Carlisle: “He’s gonna make shots, he’s a great shooter. We’ve got to protect him. Teams are going to throw their most physical guys at him every night and we’ve got to have answers.”
Mathurin acknowledged that he’s been on a downward curve, averaging just 12.9 point per game in December. After being held to nine points by the Heat, he finished with 24 points and accounted for 11 of their 19 in the third quarter.
Haliburton on the rookie: “I kept telling everybody just get him the ball, run whatever we can to get him the ball. He is special and there’s never a need to worry about him.”
“I’ve had a couple rough games and I’m trying to stay locked in and put the work in and trying to make shots,” Mathurin said. “I feel like my confidence is always going to be the same. If I miss seven 3s, the next one is going up.”
Like Haliburton, Turner didn’t play in the matchup last week. Myles made 8 of 11 shots and contributed 21 points and a critical block with 59 seconds left.
Warriors JaMychal Green came off the bench and scored 15 points in the fourth quarter, including a stretch of eight in a row.
Isaiah Jackson did not play for the second consecutive game as the Pacers have tweaked the rotation. Aaron Nesmith is starting with Smith coming off the bench.
Meanwhile, in the G League: Chris Duarte scored 18 points on 7-of-13 shooting with the Mad Ants, playing in his first game since Nov. 4 due to a left ankle sprain. (Click here to read why he’s doing that.)
Official attendance: 15,069. And I’d say it was the best crowd of the season.
Up next: The Pacers will take Thursday off and travel to Cleveland for a game on Friday (7:30 p.m. ET) — and their first game against a top-three team in the East this season. Very strange being one-third of the way into the season.