After a weeklong break between games, the Indiana Pacers finally returned to action. The NBA had postponed their previous two games due to a combination of COVID protocols and the Texas winter weather crisis.
Both teams came out of the gate posting underwhelming offensive results. The Warriors finished the period with only 25 points but that was enough to hold a three-point lead during this stretch. Each side recorded just two makes from deep and had five turnovers.
Domantas Sabonis led the Pacers to a much stronger offensive frame in the second quarter. He recorded 15 points during this stretch and that helped Indiana to overcome converting on just one of their four three-point attempts. Indiana's 36 points was enough to hold a narrow 58-56 lead at halftime.
The Pacers reverted back to going cold offensively after halftime. Indiana scored only 22 points on 7-of-20 (35.0%) shooting from the field. It didn't help they had five turnovers either. Golden State wasn't firing on all cylinders but still added 28 points to their total.
When Myles Turner converted on a finish at attempt at the 4:36 mark of the final period, the Pacers faced just a 99-98 disadvantage on the scoreboard. Golden State scored the game's next six points and it was a size-able enough edge to maintain the lead.
"They had the last run...That was the time not to be on the downside of a run," Pacers head coach Nate Bjorkgren said. "I thought we missed a couple things on the backside there where maybe we could have stepped in to take a charge or maybe stepped in to save a bucket or two, but our guys played hard."
Down the stretch of this game, the Pacers were reminded once again how they lack a dynamic shot creator out on the perimeter who can close out games. Indiana was unable to get a bucket late when they needed to and often came up empty from deep.
"I feel like we got key stops at the end of the fourth, but we just couldn't make baskets," Sabonis said. "That was the main thing. I think our defense overall there was pretty good...but at the end when we got stops, we couldn't convert and get the lead."
Overall, the Pacers did not do themselves any favors by turning the ball over 19 times and allowing 23 points off turnovers. Finishing by going just 7-of-29 (24.1%) from the perimeter certainly didn't help either. Indiana had a sluggish offensive outing overall.
Steph Curry had a tough time converting from beyond the arc as he went 1-of-11 (9.1%) on his attempts. When he is unable to execute from the perimeter, the Warriors as a team usually follow. Golden State finished going 5-of-26 (19.2%) from deep.
Indiana is increasingly looking incapable of putting together strong enough offensive execution against some of the better teams in the NBA. Malcolm Brogdon (24) and Domantas Sabonis (22) each finished with over 20 points but combined for 10 turnovers and came up empty on 10 attempts from deep.
"We played hard, we matched intensity, but we just didn't come away with it at the end," Turner said. "I don't have the answers for you right now. It's one of those ones you just watch and get better from. We've got a tough schedule coming up and we've just got to try to take care of business."
The Pacers return to action on Friday when they travel to Boston to take on the Celtics. Both teams have struggled recently and are as close as it gets to one another in the Eastern Conference standings.