Something may have to give Wednesday night when the NBA-best Golden State Warriors try to extend their scoring surge while facing the league’s best defensive team.
The Warriors look to continue their longest home winning streak in 25 years while remaining unbeaten against Eastern Conference opponents when they take on the stingy Indiana Pacers.
Golden State (27-5) has set the league’s scoring pace on its home floor with 113.6 per game, though it’s been even more impressive by averaging 121.4 over its last five at Oracle Arena.
The Warriors sank 15 of 28 from 3-point range en route to their 12th straight home win Monday, 117-91 over Oklahoma City. They’ve won by an average of 17.6 points during that streak, their longest since a club-record 15-game run in 1989-90.
”I just think we’re in a good groove,” coach Steve Kerr said.
Harrison Barnes scored a season-high 23 while hitting all five of his 3-point attempts Monday. He’s averaging 13.6 points and shooting 54.8 percent from beyond the arc at home compared to 8.5 per game and a 31.6 3-point mark in away games.
Draymond Green hopes to keep filling up the box score at Oracle Arena. He’s averaged 10.3 points, 10.5 rebounds, 6.8 assists, 3.3 steals and 2.8 blocks in his last four games there, including his first career triple-double Friday against Toronto.
”Coach always comes in and says, `Hey, this team’s pretty good,” said Green, who had 11 points and 13 rebounds Monday. ”Every time we break the huddle, I’ll be like, `Hey, we’re pretty good, too.”’
Golden State has won all 10 matchups against the East by an average of 15.3 points. The Warriors, however, could face some resistance against an Indiana team that allows a league-low 96.1 points per game.
The Pacers (14-22) will try to wrap up their road swing with a 3-1 record after Monday’s 105-101 victory over Utah. They’ve limited opponents to an average of 92.0 points and 28.6 percent 3-point shooting while winning four of six, but allowed the Jazz to make things interesting with 39 points in the fourth quarter.
”We are learning to finish games with this group,” center Roy Hibbert said. ”Last year with Paul (George) and Lance (Stephenson) and those guys, we knew how to win, how to finish out games. We’d been through it all together.”
Golden State, 14-1 at home, features two of the league’s top five in 3-pointers made in Stephen Curry (94) and Klay Thompson (90). Curry has hit 21 of 45 from long range in his last six meetings with Indiana, while Thompson has made 15 of 31 in his past four.
Thompson had 16 of his 25 points over the final 12 minutes in the most recent matchup March 4, including a baseline fadeaway over George Hill with 0.6 seconds left in a 98-96 road victory.
Indiana won’t have Hill (left groin strain) in this contest, but Hibbert looks to continue his resurgence after he led the way with 22 points and eight boards Monday. He’s averaged 15.3 points over his last six road games.
David West is scoring 11.9 per game – his fewest since 2004-05 – but he’s averaging 24.0 on 58.3 percent shooting in the past three against Golden State.
The Warriors haven’t been too shabby on the defensive end, either. They’ve given up 94.0 points per game on 38.1 percent shooting over their last three.