Golden State Warriors vs Indiana Pacers: Lineups, preview & prediction 4/5/18
The Indiana Pacers still have plenty at stake as they open a tough two-game stretch Thursday night at home versus the Golden State Warriors.
Indiana (46-32) need one win in their final four games to assure themselves of no worse than the No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference, but they can still finish as high as third. The Pacers trail the Cleveland Cavaliers by two games in the Central Division but hold the head-to-head tiebreaker and are 1.5 games behind the Philadelphia 76ers for fourth, which carries home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs.
The Pacers, who play at East-leading Toronto on Friday night, were denied a sweep of their four-game road trip Tuesday night with a 107-104 loss at Denver that also ended a five-game overall winning streak. Victor Oladipo had 25 points, seven assists and four steals, but Indiana’s defense could not get the needed stops in the fourth quarter as their rally from 14 down came up short.
Indiana have won three straight and 13 of their last 16 at home.
Golden State (57-21) are locked in as the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference and continue to build a rhythm and rotation for the first round of the playoffs without injured All-Star Stephen Curry. The Warriors have won three straight following a 111-107 victory at Oklahoma City on Tuesday night as Kevin Durant had 34 points and ten rebounds in winning for the fifth time in seven games against his former team since signing with the Warriors before last season.
Klay Thompson added 20 points, but it was Golden State’s defense that rose the occasion by limiting everyone else while Russell Westbrook scored 44 points. While he shot 15 of 26 from the field, his Thunder teammates were just 20 of 67 as Oklahoma City shot 23.7 percent (9 for 38) from 3-point range and 37.6 percent overall.