Playing their first game since NBA All-Star weekend, the Indiana Pacers blew past rookie head coach Mark Jackson and the Golden State Warriors, 102-78. Tuesday night’s game marked the second time this season that Indiana has beaten Golden State, and the first time the Pacers have swept the season series against the Warriors in five years. The win was Indiana’s fifth in a row, their longest winning streak of the season. The Pacers have only lost one game this season after scoring 100 points, and currently have the 3rd best record in the Eastern Conference.
The Pacers began the game on a 10-0 run. Golden State missed their first nine shots, and started the game 1-11 from behind the three-point line. Golden State finished the game only 3-22 from long range. The Pacers held the Warriors to 34% shooting for the game.
“We’re getting back to being a strong defensive team again, and we’re excited about that,” Indiana head coach Frank Vogel said after the game. “We talk about having a killer instinct with our club. You build a lead, and then you try to step on their throat. They had killer instinct tonight.”
NBA All-Star Roy Hibbert came back to his home court ready to roll. Hibbert began the game with two points, one assist, and one block in his team’s first three possessions. Hibert had eight points and eight rebounds at halftime, and finished the game with 12 points, nine rebounds, two assists, and three blocked shots, in only twenty minutes of play. Indiana’s Paul George, who played in the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge on All-Star weekend, had a great all around game Tuesday night, as well. George scored 11 points and added in nine rebounds, four steals, and five assists. Indiana had 21 assists for the game, and are 19-5 this season when they total 15 assists or more.
Tuesday’s game also marked the first time this season where the Pacers had all 13 players healthy and ready to play. All 13 players got on the court during the game, with the starting lineup resting for much of the fourth quarter. Indiana had six players score in double figures against the Warriors, led by Danny Granger, who scored 25. If this kind of performance is any indication of what a healthy Indiana team can do, then the Pacers may very well be poised to make a strong run into the Eastern Conference playoffs this season.