Pacers-Warriors Preview

The Associated Press

Considering their recent margins of victory, referring to the Indiana Pacers' last four games as a winning streak might be a bit of an understatement.

The Pacers now bring their imposing act on the road Monday night when they open a five-game trip against the Golden State Warriors, who play nine of their next 11 at home.

Indiana (32-7) completed a 4-0 homestand with an average winning margin of 23.2 points, the closest among them Saturday's 106-92 win over the Los Angeles Clippers.

"It's just guys rising up to the occasion and stepping up," coach Frank Vogel said. "Lance (Stephenson) and Paul (George), they can do a lot of things."

George had his best shooting night of the season, scoring 36 points on 12 of 17 from the field and 5 of 6 from 3-point range. He's averaging 30.7 in his last three games. Stephenson added 22 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists for the Pacers, who are 9-0 when he records at least a double-double.

"I feel like every game is a good one for us," Stephenson said. "We're playing together, we're playing smart and we don't care who scores. We're just playing within the flow of the game."

Indiana maintained its double-digit lead in the second half despite losing starting power forward David West to ejection at halftime. Danny Granger took on an expanded role and scored 12 points off the bench.

The Pacers have averaged 113.0 points over their last three games.

"We are becoming an offensive juggernaut," Granger said. "At times, we struggled with our offensive efficiency but when we move the ball and pass the way we do and cut the way we do, it's hard to stop us."

Indiana has also won four straight against the Western Conference. The Pacers are 10-2 overall against the West, an .833 winning percentage that ties Miami for the NBA's best.

Things haven't come quite as easily on the road, where the Pacers have lost four of six. They've also lost five of their last six at Golden State.

The Warriors (26-16), who are 3-0 at home and 10-2 overall against the East, snapped a two-game skid with a 97-87 win at New Orleans on Saturday.

Stephen Curry scored a team-high 28 points and is averaging 29.7 in his last three, but it was defense that he noted as the difference.

The Warriors held the Pelicans to 38.6 percent shooting while Andrew Bogut (10 points, 15 rebounds, five blocks) and David Lee (22 points, eight rebounds, two blocks) made things difficult in the paint, leading the team to match a season high with 11 blocks.

"We forced them into tough jump shots and even when they got into the paint, you've got your rim protectors - plural," Curry said. "When you get a couple blocks, they think about it the next time they come into the paint."

Golden State had allowed 118.5 points in its previous two games. The team is 19-2 when holding opponents to 100 or fewer, a key thing to strive for against a Pacers squad that is 12-1 when reaching the century mark.

The teams split two games last season with the home team winning each. West averaged 25.5 points in those two games, while Curry scored 38 in the most recent meeting, a 108-97 loss at Indiana on Feb. 26, 2013.

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