Shorthanded Pacers face tough test against visiting Warriors
INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana Pacers will host the Golden State Warriors on Monday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. It will be the Warriors' only trip to Indianapolis this season. Defeating the Warriors is never an easy task. The task will be even tougher for the Pacers, however, as they'll be playing on the second night of a back-to-back. They will also be 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.”
George added, “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 win 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 Pacers (7-7) have had a lot more success at home compared to the road, as they've gone 6-2 in Indianapolis this season. They will look to their home crowd and the adrenaline of playing the Western Conference Champions to try and play well in the quick turnaround.
The Warriors are 11-2 on the season, and 3-0 on this current road trip. Their road trip will conclude on Monday night.
Kevin Durant has now scored 30-plus points five times this season, including in the 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 also own the league's best field-goal percentage (49.8%.) They have three players averaging 20 points per game or more (Durant, Curry and 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 three of those games have been on this current road trip.
The Warriors swept the two-game season series over the Pacers last year in their record-breaking regular season. Steph Curry averaged 34 points per game against Indiana in those games.