Stephen Curry and the Warriors have had an oddly heterogeneous streak since their win on Christmas Day in Phoenix.
While the league’s two-time MVP has come out of his minor slump and regained his scoring form, Golden State’s streak of ups and downs was extended into Thursday night by a team of Pacers, who are playing into second night of back-to-back game without six key rotation players in TJ Warren, Malcolm Brogdon, TJ McConnell, Domantas Sabonis, Caris LeVert, Myles Turner.
The Warriors were in the lead for most of the first half but they were never separate.
The Pacers fought back in the third inning before both teams switched in clutches but 48 minutes wasn’t enough to decide the winner.
In fact, Curry’s late hero – scoring 14 out of 27 team 4th quarter points – was a huge reason why the Warriors were not only in a position to win late in regulation but also to survive Justin Holiday’s clutch strike and play extra time.
It wasn’t a particularly productive night for the Warriors’ superstar point guard as he shot 12 of 27 from the field, including 6 of 16 from outside the arc.
Having said that, despite not scoring in injury time, Curry finished with a game-high 39 points, the first time he had scored 30 since Christmas Day. In the nine games he’s played in between, he’s averaged 19.8 points in bombardment 37.0 percent from the field and 32.6 from outside the arc.
For the exhausted Pacers, it was a team-wide effort. Seven out of ten players scored twice as many minutes, led by rookie Chris Duarte.
They overcame the Warriors from outside the arc, taking down six more 3-pointers and certainly played a role in the home side making 20 rotations.
This loss was the seventh of 12 games for Golden State since Christmas Day. So they slipped out of the competition for best league record by 27-6 after Christmas games to 3.5 games behind the Phoenix Suns by 32-13.
On the other hand, it’s the first time the Pacers have won consecutive air games all season, and it’s their first consecutive win since Dec.