Warriors 113, Pacers 98
INDIANAPOLIS (AP)—Indiana fans booed Stephen Jackson all game long.
Perhaps they shouldn’t have—it made him feel right at home.
Jackson often was booed as a Pacer for various off-the-court offenses, and he got more of the same when he returned to Conseco Fieldhouse with Golden State. He shrugged it off and scored a season-high 36 points as the Warriors beat Indiana 113-98 on Monday night.
Jackson made 10 of 22 shots, going 4-of-6 on 3-pointers. He wouldn’t say he had something to prove, but was happy to win after being traded from the Pacers last month.
“I’m not going to lie, it feels good to come back and beat your old team,” he said.
Jackson was suspended for 30 games during the 2004-05 season for fighting with Detroit Pistons fans and was sentenced to probation. He pleaded not guilty to a charge that he violated probation when he was accused of firing a gun on Oct. 6, 2006, outside Club Rio in Indianapolis.
Because of those incidents, Jackson had a stormy relationship with Pacers fans. He was booed during pregame introductions on Monday, and it continued throughout the game whenever he touched the ball.
Al Harrington, another former Pacer who returned, was glad that Jackson handled the crowd reaction well.
“I was praying and hoping that one of us had a big game, but I definitely wanted it to be Jack because of all the stuff he’d been through,” Harrington said. “I’m happy he had a good game, and I’m happy that we won.”
Jackson and Harrington were key parts of the eight-player trade between the Warriors and Pacers on Jan. 17, and this was the first meeting between the teams since. Harrington had 16 points, 10 rebounds and five assists.
Andris Biedrins added 10 points and 15 rebounds for the Warriors.
The Pacers had appeared to be getting the best of the trade. They entered the game 6-3 since the swap while Golden State was 3-5. But the new Warriors outscored the new Pacers 52-18.
“I wouldn’t judge the trade on this game,” Golden State coach Don Nelson said. “If the scores were reversed, I wouldn’t do it, and I wouldn’t do it when we won. The trade was good for both teams and I think that will prove out.”
Indiana coach Rick Carlisle wasn’t surprised that Jackson and Harrington were motivated.
“We know that Jack and Al are capable of huge games,” Carlisle said. “They both played very well. Fortunately, it’s just one of 82 games.”
The Pacers had won six of their last seven, but started their six-game homestand in disappointing fashion.
“We weren’t ready to play,” O’Neal said. “We’ve got to be ready to beat teams that we’re supposed to beat. It’s just one of those bad losses that you have.”
Golden State earned its sixth road win in 24 tries despite being short-handed. Baron Davis, the Warriors’ leading scorer, did not dress because of a bruised left knee. Monta Ellis, another Golden State guard, went down with a left knee contusion with 5:37 left in the third quarter. X-rays were negative, but he didn’t return. He finished with 21 points.
Golden State outrebounded the Pacers 57-42 and reached the 100-point mark on a 3-pointer by Harrington with 7:41 left.
The Warriors shot 51 percent in the first half, and one of the league’s worst defensive teams held the Pacers to 31 percent shooting as Golden State took a 65-42 halftime lead.
Golden State increased its lead to 73-47 on a jumper by Ellis with 8:52 left in the third quarter, but two 3-pointers by Dunleavy and another by Murphy cut the Warriors’ lead to 73-56 and forced Golden State to call timeout.
The loudest cheer of the evening came when Indiana guard Darrell Armstrong blocked Jackson’s layup attempt late in the third quarter. Armstrong got a standing ovation, but Golden State already had stretched its lead to 89-72. The Warriors led 91-72 at the end of the period.
“I think the force was with us tonight, for whatever reason,” Nelson said. “I think we played hard and played pretty well.”
Harrington made Golden State’s first three baskets and Jackson made the next three to put the Warriors ahead 14-4. The two combined for 21 of Golden State’s 34 points in the first quarter. … Indiana G Keith McLeod made his first appearance as a Pacer after being traded from Golden State. He played five minutes and did not score. … Attendance was 6,000 below capacity because the game overlapped with the Indianapolis Colts’ Super Bowl victory parade that led to the nearby RCA Dome. … Tinsley was called for a technical foul late in the second quarter, Indiana C Jeff Foster was called for a flagrant foul late in the third and O’Neal got a technical with 4:42 left in the game after arguing a foul call.