Pacers-Warriors Preview

The Associated Press

The Indiana Pacers got off to a rough start on their three-game trip by failing to close out their opponent. The Golden State Warriors are also looking to bounce back from a fourth-quarter meltdown.

Indiana goes for its first victory in Oakland in six years when the Warriors open a season-high six-game homestand Friday night.

Leading by 14 heading into the fourth quarter Wednesday, the Pacers (9-4) couldn't solve Sacramento's 2-3 zone defense and lost 92-88.

Indiana has a 108-69 third-period scoring edge over its last four opponents, but it has been outscored by 23 in the fourth quarter of those contests.

"Obviously this was a tough loss for us,'' said Pacers coach Frank Vogel, whose team shot 2 for 16 and committed nine fourth-quarter turnovers against the Kings. "To give up a lead like that in the fourth quarter is definitely a missed opportunity for us."

Warriors coach Mark Jackson felt the same way following a 107-100 loss at New Jersey on Wednesday. With a chance to go 3-1 on its trip, Golden State was outscored 27-17 in the fourth by a Nets team that had dropped its first four at home.

"It's a disappointing loss,'' said Jackson, the former Pacers point guard who is third all-time in franchise history with 3,294 assists. "We had the game won. Bottom line, if you don't close out quarters or possessions, it will come back to bite you."

Golden State (5-9) will try to get back on track as it begins a stretch of 10 of 12 in the Bay Area.

The Warriors have won the last four times the Pacers have been in town, posting a 110-108 victory in the most recent meeting Jan. 19, 2011, on Monta Ellis' jumper with less than a second remaining. Ellis finished with 36 points in that game after scoring 45 the previous time Indiana visited Nov. 30, 2009.

While the Pacers are winless in Oakland since Nov. 29, 2006, forward Danny Granger has averaged 29.0 points and 8.8 rebounds during his team's losing streak at Oracle Arena.

Granger's 23.3 scoring average in this series is his highest against any team.

Golden State guard Brandon Rush will get his first look at his former teammates after being acquired from Indiana last month for Louis Amundson. Rush, who averaged 8.9 points and 3.6 rebounds in three seasons for the Pacers, has scored 10.6 per game and hit 13 of 24 from 3-point range over the last seven.

Newcomer Nate Robinson has also been a nice pickup for the Warriors, who are unsure when Stephen Curry will return after missing the last eight games with a sprained right ankle.

Robinson is averaging 13.3 points and 5.0 assists off the bench since being signed Jan. 4.

Up front, the Warriors will have to do a better job on the boards than they did Wednesday, when they were outrebounded by 20. Led by Roy Hibbert (9.6), David West (6.7) and Tyler Hansbrough (6.1), Indiana is among the league leaders with 45.2 rebounds per game.

Warriors forward David Lee will be looking to bounce back from a rough shooting game that ended his hot streak. Lee came into Wednesday's contest having averaged 24.6 points and 64.3 percent shooting in his previous five games, but he went 4 of 11 from the field and scored a season-low 12 points against New Jersey.

Lee totaled 40 points and 20 boards as Golden State and Indiana split two meetings in 2010-11.

The home team has won the last eight matchups in this series.

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