With his team dropping three straight and 12 of 14, maybe Golden State coach Don Nelson should take Jim O’Brien’s approach and just tell his team to win a game.
On Wednesday night, the slumping Warriors will open their five-game road trip against an Indiana team that just snapped a six-game losing streak.
Golden State (7-18) is coming off a 109-98 loss to Orlando on Monday night— its fourth loss in the last five games at Oracle Arena. The Warriors failed to take advantage of the absence of Magic All-Star center Dwight Howard—the NBA’s leader in rebounds and blocked shots—making just 41.8 percent of their shots and getting outrebounded 51-48.
“I thought we tried to do the right thing,” Nelson said. “It was tough to establish a low post game and we struggled to score.”
Biedrins’ job won’t get any easier as he takes on the Pacers, who are among the NBA’s top rebounding teams with 44.8 per game.
He averaged only 7.5 points and 4.5 boards as Golden State and Indiana split two meetings in 2007-08.
In its 118-98 win over Washington on Monday, Indiana outrebounded the Wizards 55-41. Troy Murphy had 12 rebounds and Jeff Foster grabbed seven of his 11 on the offensive end as Indiana collected its most offensive rebounds (23) since pulling down 26 in a 103-102 loss to Seattle on Feb. 7, 2007.
Murphy, who averaged 11.2 points and 8.2 boards in five-plus seasons (2001-07) with the Warriors, had 16 points and five rebounds in a 125-117 win over Golden State on Jan. 16
Indiana had 12 steals and forced 18 turnovers against Washington.
“Anytime we get an extra possession it’s great for us,” said Marquis Daniels, who had 20 points, eight rebounds and seven assists against Washington.
Indiana (8-16) led by as many as 15 in the third, but was outscored 34-19 as the Wizards made it 83-all with 55 seconds left in the quarter.
“There’s always that little thought in your head, ‘We can’t get over the hump,’” said Danny Granger, who averaged 24.5 points against the Warriors last season. “But coach (O’Brien) pulled us aside on the bench and said, ‘Just win the game.’ And we went out there and did that.”
Granger, who averaged 20.3 points and 3.5 rebounds during the six-game slide, had 27 and nine, respectively, as the Pacers outscored the Wizards 31-15 in the fourth. It was Indiana’s first win since a 118-117 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Dec. 2, and largest margin of victory since a 105-85 win over Miami on March 31.
Stephen Jackson, traded from the Pacers in Jan. 2007 in the deal that included Murphy, will play in his third game at Conseco Fieldhouse since the eight-player swap. In the previous two games, Jackson averaged 26.5 points and 4.5 assists.
Lately, though, Jackson has not been as effective, playing with a sprained left wrist. He’s averaging 8.0 points and shooting 14.6 percent (6-of-41) in the last three games.
“I’m not going to make this a big deal about my hand,” said Jackson, who averaged 16.6 points and 3.9 boards in two-plus seasons (2004-07) with Indiana. “It happened and I’m going to keep rolling.”
Golden State has lost six of seven at Indiana.