It became clear extremely early that the Indiana Pacers could not stop the Golden State Warriors. The defending champions took a 44-28 lead into the second quarter on Tuesday, and extended their lead to 79-60 at halftime. Klay Thompson had 29 points in the first half and 39 overall, leading Golden State to a 131-123 victory at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
The Warriors now own a 23-0 record. If you include their four wins to end the 2014-15 regular season, then they have tied the 2012-13 Miami Heat’s 27-game winning streak, which is the second-longest in NBA history. If you’re wondering why on Earth you’d count those four wins, the league recognizes the multiseason streak.
Thompson shot 13 of 21 for his 39 points, including 10 of 16 from 3-point range. He also added seven rebounds and six assists, but had to leave the game late in the fourth quarter with an apparent ankle injury. Stephen Curry had 29 points on 11-for-23 shooting, including 3 of 11 from deep, with seven rebounds, 10 assists and three steals. Both of them went to the bench at the end of the third quarter with Golden State up by 28 points, but the reserves let Indiana cut into the lead and they had to return. Indiana outscored the Warriors 40-20 in the final frame.
Paul George, who hours before the tip called it a “must-win” game, finished with a team-high 33 points on 11-for-27 shooting, including five 3s.
Since their 0-3 start, the Pacers have had the statistical profile of a great team on both ends of the court. This was their first test against a truly elite team, though, and they failed it. That’s OK, though — great teams get beaten by Golden State all the time.
The Warriors will visit the Boston Celtics on Friday and the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday before returning home. Interim coach Luke Walton said he would consider resting players in the second game of that back-to-back. Now he just has to hope that Thompson will be healthy enough to play in the next game.