The Indiana Pacers surprisingly earned a 121-117 road win over the Golden State Warriors in overtime on Thursday. Rookie guard Chris Duarte led the way with 27 points as Indiana improved to 17-29.
28-year-old rookie guard Keifer Sykes (10 points) came up big in the extra period with five big points. The Pacers finished the game on an 11-2 run.
The Pacers were without most of their regular rotation as their top three scorers Domantas Sabonis (ankle), Caris LeVert (calf) and Malcolm Brogdon (Achilles) all sat out.
It's just the fifth road win of the season for the Pacers, who also took down the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday night. This is the first time Indiana has won back-to-back games since early December.
Golden State fell to 32-13 after its fourth loss in its last six games. Stephen Curry had 39 points and eight assists.
It's just the fourth home loss of the season for the Warriors. Golden State was without forward Draymond Green, who remained sidelined with a back injury.
G Chris Duarte, IND: 27 points
G Stephen Curry, GSW: 39 points, 8 assists
G Klay Thompson, GSW: 12 points (6-of-17 FG) in 23 minutes
Short-handed Pacers Punch Warriors in the Mouth
Thursday's game had no business being as competitive as it was, but apparently no one told Indiana that. Despite having a depleted roster and playing the latter end of a back-to-back, the Pacers had the Warriors against the ropes throughout the night.
Despite his rookie status, Duarte took control of the game for Indiana. He displayed a maturity with his decision-making, finishing with zero turnovers against three assists and three steals. His energy was outstanding, and the rest of the team seemed to feed off him.
Second-year center Goga Bitadze had a very productive first half with 13 points, nine rebounds and five assists.
The Pacers opened the third quarter with a 13-3 run and the Warriors looked like they had gotten smacked in the mouth. Indiana was active in the passing lanes and took advantage of Golden State's mistakes, forcing the Warriors into seven turnovers in the period. The Pacers hit five of their nine three-point shots in the third.
Indiana kept the fight going in the fourth and didn't get discouraged when Golden State took a late lead. Justin Holiday forced overtime with a triple.
Even when the Pacers went down to start the overtime period, they didn't panic. Indiana got timely baskets and played strong defense when it counted.
Seven players scored in double figures for the Pacers. Holiday finished with 16 points, and rookie forward Isaiah Jackson added 15 points and seven rebounds. Veteran guard Jeremy Lamb had 14 points, and veteran forward Torrey Craig finished with 12. Indiana is now 4-14 in games decided by six points or less this season.
It was an inspired effort from a team that has been decimated by injuries throughout the season. In addition to Sabonis, LeVert and Brogdon being out, the Pacers have dealt with the prolonged absences of Myles Turner (foot), T.J. McConnell (health and safety protocols) and T.J. Warren (foot).
Indiana is a well-coached team that plays hard on both ends of the floor. If the Pacers manage to get healthy at the right time, perhaps this won't be a lost season and they may be able to compete for a spot in the play-in tournament.
Warriors Shocked on Their Home Floor
It was a weird night on offense for the Warriors. Shots that usually fall weren't going down. We didn't see one of those patented runs where they put away teams with an avalanche of points.
Golden State played an uncharacteristically sloppy game and shot itself in the foot constantly with untimely turnovers. The Warriors also allowed a scrappy Pacers team to stay in the game by sending them to the free-throw line and allowing them to shoot a high percentage from beyond the arc. Their eight-point halftime lead disappeared almost immediately, and they were in a slugfest for the rest of the night.
Green (back) was out for a sixth straight game, and Golden State's offense has struggled to find consistency while he's been out. Trying to integrate Klay Thompson has also stunted the team's usual flow.
The Warriors finished the game with 21 turnovers. They allowed the Pacers to attempt 34 free throws and shoot 42.9 percent from three-point range. Golden State was off all night and finished 9-of-42 (21.4 percent) from beyond the arc.
Besides Curry's strong performance, the Warriors looked like they weren't prepared to be in a competitive game. Golden State played as if it thought it was going to roll to an easy win. When the Pacers didn't oblige, the Warriors failed to get their minds into the game.
Anthony Slater @anthonyVslater
Worst loss of the season for the Warriors. Fall at home to Pacers on a second night of a b2b without Sabonis, Turner, Brogdon, LeVert. Several untimely GSW defensive breakdowns. They went 9-of-42 from 3. Steph Curry: 44 minutes on front side of b2b. Klay/Wiggins/Poole: 12/39 FG.
This loss will force the Warriors to look themselves in the mirror and decide the type of team they want to be. If Golden State wants to make a return to the NBA Finals for the first time since 2019, it can't afford to have many more lackadaisical performances like it had on Thursday.
The Pacers will look for their third win in a row on Saturday when they visit the Phoenix Suns. The Warriors will welcome the Houston Rockets to town on Friday for the third matchup of a seven-game homestand.