The Indiana Pacers and Golden State Warriors completed a blockbuster trade less than three weeks ago that shook up their respective lineups. Now, one team is going for its longest winning streak of the season while the other is still trying to get on track.
The Pacers host the Warriors on Monday in the first meeting between the squads since their eight-player trade on Jan. 17.
The Pacers have won six of their last seven, including a 116-110 win over Memphis on Saturday. Indiana is looking for its season-high fourth straight win.
“We like them all very much,” Pacers coach Rick Carlisle told the team’s official Web site of his new players. “There are some things Diogu can do that I wasn’t aware he could do.”
Diogu scored a season-high 19 points, including 10 in the final quarter on Saturday. He also grabbed a season-best nine rebounds in 23 minutes - his most with the Pacers.
Dunleavy scored 13 points, his fifth double-digit performance in eight starts with Indiana. Murphy, who also joined the Pacers’ starting five, missed Saturday’s victory and is day-to-day with a broken nose suffered in a win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday.
The Warriors may have acquired more impact players in Harrington and Jackson, but they have dropped five of eight with their retooled lineup, including a 98-90 defeat to Charlotte on Saturday.
Golden State coach Don Nelson dismissed the idea that the significance of Monday’s contest would spark a better showing.
“As far as being able to get to a different level just because of a trade, it’s pretty silly,” Nelson said.
Harrington, who had 17 points and eight rebounds Saturday, is averaging 20.4 points in eight games for the Warriors, nearly five more than his average in Indiana. Jackson scored 11 points and is averaging 14.2 points overall this season, a mark that has barely fluctuated since joining Golden State.
“I hope they all receive a warm welcome,” Carlisle told the Pacers’ Web site. “They all did some great things while they were here. These kinds of things are always weird. … It’s just part of it. You get ready to play and you go play.”
Andris Biedrins had 15 points and a career-high 18 rebounds for the Warriors Saturday and leading scorer Baron Davis had 21 points, but suffered cramps and pain in his left calf and hamstring near the end of the game.
“I started getting spasms,” Davis said. “I couldn’t explode or put any pressure on my leg. It was tough to be out there and guard and make plays.”
The Warriors have struggled to make plays on the road, going a dismal 5-18 there this season and 1-3 on their current six-game road trip. They have lost five straight trips to Indianapolis, getting outscored by 13.4 points.
Indiana won the first meeting between these teams, 108-106 on Nov. 29, when Jackson hit a 3-pointer with 1 second remaining. The Pacers have won four in a row in the series and nine of the last 11 matchups.