Stephen Curry’s hot hand sends Warriors past Oladipo-less Pacers for 11th in row

Associated Press
3 Comments

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Stephen Curry‘s first-half shooting clinic was virtually flawless.

His championship teammates pitched in, too.

Curry scored 23 of his 26 points in the first half Monday and Golden State ran away with a 132-100 rout at Indiana for its league-leading 11th consecutive victory. The two-time defending champions still aren’t satisfied.

“I feel like we can,” Curry said when asked if the Warriors can get even better. “We’re not playing perfect basketball, by any stretch, but we’re playing consistent, focused basketball and we’re still working out some kinks with rotations and stuff like that.”

It’s a scary thought for the rest of the league, especially after the two-time MVP turned in another head-turning performance.

Curry made his first eight shots and his first six 3-pointers, including a demoralizing 27-foot buzzer-beater that gave the Warriors a 69-48 halftime lead. He finished 10 of 13 from the field with six rebounds, three assists and two steals in just 27 minutes. About the only thing he didn’t do well was celebrate Klay Thompson‘s huge dunk.

DeMarcus Cousins had a season-high 22 points on a night five players scored in double figures and the Warriors had 39 assists.

And all that came on the final leg of a five-game road trip without Draymond Green, who rested, and against the league’s No. 1 scoring defense.

“I was a little worried about this game. Everybody’s anxious to get home,” coach Steve Kerr said. “But we finished off the trip the right way. We’ve been more dialed in the last month than we have all season.”

Golden State has won a league-high 10 consecutive road games and swept a five-game trip for the first time since November 2014.

The Pacers played without All-Star guard Victor Oladipo, who had season-ending surgery on his right knee Monday, and Tyreke Evans, Oladipo’s replacement, because of a sore back. But even at full strength, they may have struggled to weather the Warriors’ flurry.

Indiana gave up a season-high 40 points in the first quarter, and never got closer than 16 after Curry broke a 16-16 tie by scoring eight points to start a decisive 24-6 quarter-closing run en route to its most lopsided loss this season.

“There’s no doubt in my mind that this team is going on the up track,” Pacers guard Darren Collison said. “I think we saw tonight, playing against a team like that, how to execute and we can take something from that.”

Myles Turner scored 16 points and Bojan Bogdanovic had 15 but Indiana lost for the second straight time since Oladipo was injured last week. It was the Pacers’ worst loss this season.