OAKLAND, Calif. — The Indiana Pacers will take the court Monday night at a distinct scheduling disadvantage when they continue a five-game Western swing against the Golden State Warriors.
Just like when the teams met two weeks ago in Indianapolis.
The Pacers are coming off a 111-102 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday night on the second stop of a five-game trip.
On Monday, they will encounter a rested Warriors team, just as they did on Nov. 21, when Golden State took advantage of an Indiana club that went into overtime for a road win at Oklahoma City the night before. The Warriors handed the Pacers their worst home loss in franchise history, 120-83.
The Warriors were closing out a four-game Eastern swing that night, and they did so in impressive fashion. Then again, they did it against a Pacers team that chose not to play Paul George and Myles Turner.
It is unclear who will and will not play for Indiana on Monday. However, with two more winnable games remaining on the trip — at Phoenix and Dallas — it would be no surprise if Pacers coach Nate McMillan at least weighed his options.
After all, the night off against the Warriors appears to have done Turner a world of good last time. He responded with a four-block game and a double-double by week's end, helping Indiana win two of its next three games.
The Pacers continue to be cautious with George and his bad back, although he did return from a three-game absence to contribute 16 points on Sunday against the Clippers.
Indiana also got C.J. Miles (knee) back against the Clippers. He had 12 points in the win.
No doubt, the Pacers could use all hands on deck against the Warriors, who will be looking to complete a five-game homestand with a fourth win.
Golden State is coming off arguably its best offensive performance of the season in a 138-109 blowout of the Phoenix Suns. The Warriors made 14 of 21 3-point attempts in the win.
The Warriors (17-3) fell 131-127 in double overtime to the Houston Rockets two nights earlier. The win over Phoenix allowed Golden State to avoid its first set of consecutive defeats since the 2014-15 season.
“There's a resiliency to our team,” Warriors standout Stephen Curry said. “For us to be able to correct mistakes and bounce back quickly and not have multiple games in a row where we don't show up to play says a lot about the character of this team.”
The Pacers (10-10) are showing no such resiliency, especially on the road. Despite the Sunday victory over the Clippers, Indiana retains one of the worst road records in the NBA (2-6).
That said, the Pacers were never healthier than they were when they took the court in Los Angeles. They hope good health in the future eventually will trump poor results in the past.
“We worked on some new sets, some new things,” George said of a crowded practice Saturday. “This is where we've got to start turning the corner.”