Running thoughts: Pacers 126, Warriors 106

Pacers, Golden State Warriors

Here are my running thoughts from the Pacers’ 126-106 win over the Golden State Warriors Thursday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

  • The Warriors, winners of three in a row, held morning shootaround Thursday. Coach Steve Kerr was complimentary of the Pacers, their renewed spirit, and the job of Pacers head coach Nate McMillan.
  • IndyCar driver Jack Harvey was the honorary captain on “IMS night.” Before the game, he game an IndyCar helmet to veteran Al Jefferson, and received a Pacers jersey.
  • Chicago Blackhawks “Anthem Singer” Jim Cornelison, who last year began singing “Back Home Again in Indiana” prior to the Indianapolis 500, sang the anthem before tip-off. Many more Warriors fans were in the building, so they were unaware that the crowd was expected to cheer loudly during Cornelison’s rendition.
  • It hasn’t happened often, and rarely does so late in the season, but the Pacers’ Injury Report was blank. No names
  • The Warriors were without Steph Curry (left MCL sprain), Andre Iguodala (left knee soreness) Patrick McCaw (lumbar spine contusion), and Omri Casspi (sprained right ankle).
  • Early on, it was the Pacers who caught fire. They used a 14-2 run, forcing a timeout by coach Kerr.
  • While playing defense, Kevin Durant was exchanging words with a player on the Pacers’ bench. It was Joe Young. A brief conversation continued during the very next timeout.
  • Indiana’s top rebounders have been off the bench, in Stephenson and Sabonis. The success came early in the second quarter against David West and rookie Jordan Bell.
  • West, who plays in the second and fourth quarters, picked up three fouls in less than five minutes. However, because his minutes are around 14 per game, coach Kerr left him on the court.
  • Lance has been very active. Nine points, four rebounds, and three assists in his first nine minutes off the bench. That help the Pacers outrebound the Warriors and take a five-point lead.
  • Pacers pushed their lead to 10, 52-42, via an 11-2 run. Boganovic hit both of his 3-pointers and became the game’s first double-figure scorer with 14 points on 6-of-7 shooting.
  • Leading by as many as 14 in the first half, Indiana’s lead was 11 points at the break. Klay Thompson had a game-high 16 points, Bogdanovic had 14. (Thompson didn’t score in the second half.)
  • Steve Kerr was issued a technical foul just minutes into the second half. Darren Collison made the foul shot.
  • The Pacers continued at a high pace in the third court, racing out to a 20-point lead. They’re getting done at the defensive end, thus far holding the Warriors to 7 for 21 from range.
  • Warriors’ Quinn Cook was assessed a Flagrant-1 foul, after review, for wrapping up Domantas Sabonis from behind to prevent the layup. He hit both foul shots, then scored on the same possessions so it worked out better. A four-point play.
  • The defending champs wouldn’t go away quietly. Despite yielding 97 points and trailing by 20 after three, they scored ten in a row to start the fourth. Not surprising. This team is really good, even when in a hole and without Steph Curry.
  • But then the Pacers had a strong answer, scoring 11 of the next 12 points.
  • The Warriors’ only point during that stretch came because of a Victor Oladipo technical foul from official Marat Kogut. Just his second of the season.
  • Down by 21, coach Kerr pulled his three All-Stars with seven minutes left. The Pacers’ starters earned the extra rest. They tip-off against the Raptors in Toronto in less than 23 hours.
  • Bogdanovic won his matchup vs Durant (27 points) with a game-high 28 points. He made 11 of 13 shots, including six 3s.
  • The Pacers outscored the Warriors from beyond the arc by 18 points, with 15 3s.
  • Three regular-season games left. Up next: The Pacers (47-32), winners in six of the last seven, play across the border in Toronto. The Raptors are 56-22.
  • For what it’s worth: Pacers swept the season series for the first time since the 2011-12 season.

Pacers Game Operations brought in Red Panda to perform at halftime. She’s always a fan-favorite.

This pass-fake by Sabonis was nice.

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