INDIANAPOLIS — Defeating the Golden State Warriors, never an easy task, will be even tougher for the Indiana Pacers on Monday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. It's the second night of a back-to-back, and they'll be playing without Paul George (ankle) and C.J. Miles (knee) due to injury.
“It's a long season, and you're going to have injuries,” said coach Nate McMillan. “No one needs to get down.”
Said George: “I'd rather be strong for us late in the year than earlier in the year. Hopefully, this isn't a long-term decision of sitting out.”
George and Miles also missed Sunday's game, and the Pacers were still able to pick up their first road victory of the season, an overtime win in Oklahoma City. Jeff Teague led the way with 30 points, nine assists, six steals and five rebounds.
“We wanted him (Teague) to be aggressive,” McMillan said. “I thought Jeff played a solid floor game, not only scoring, but setting up his teammates.”
The Warriors are 11-2 on the season, and 3-0 a road trip that will conclude Monday night.
Kevin Durant has scored 30-plus points five times this season, including in a win against Milwaukee on Saturday.
Draymond Green had a big defensive stop Saturday night, proving how the Warriors can beat you in many different ways.
“That's what Draymond does,” coach Steve Kerr said. “He sees the game. He knows what's coming. Draymond is unbelievable in those situations.”
The Warriors lead the NBA with 117 points per game and own the league's best field-goal percentage (49.8%.) They have three players averaging 20 points per game or more (Durant, Steph Curry and Klay Thompson.) They've been every bit as advertised so far this season.
Former Pacer David West will be in the building with his new team. He was a fan favorite in his time with Indiana.
Both teams are in the top seven in the NBA in 3-point percentage and overall field-goal percentage. It could be another high-scoring affair.
The Pacers are 3-1 against the Western Conference this season, and the Warriors are 3-0 against the East (all on this road trip).
The Warriors swept the two-game season series over the Pacers last year in their record-breaking regular season. Curry averaged 34 points per game against Indiana in those games.