Warriors display play-off mentality in rout of Pacers

LOS ANGELES • It was easy to see why the Golden State Warriors are two-time National Basketball Association (NBA) defending champions this season.

In their 50th game this season, a 132-100 rout of hosts Indiana Pacers on Monday night - they already played like they are preparing to go into the play-offs at this stage.

"Coach hit us with 'what game this is, I think it's 50'," superstar Stephen Curry said on ESPN after the Western Conference leaders improved their record to 36-14.

"And you think about how quickly that springs on you. You get back from All-Star break (in February), you still have 30 games and you're like, 'All right, this is play-off mentality time', and you start to ramp it up, so we're starting early."

The point guard scored 26 points on Monday, becoming the first NBA player to make 200 three-pointers in seven straight seasons after going six of eight from beyond the arc.

The Warriors also stretched the longest winning streak in the league this season to 11 as they wrapped up a five-game road trip in style in Indianapolis.

Curry connected on 10 of 13 shots from the field and did most of the damage in the first half.

His 23 points included eight straight to break a 16-16 tie midway through the first quarter, a burst that put the Warriors on their way.

"Just a really good way to finish it," Warriors coach Steve Kerr said of the convincing end to the road trip.

"I was a little worried about this game. Everybody's anxious to get home, but we've finished off the trip the right way.

Golden State Warriors centre DeMarcus Cousins dunks against the Indiana Pacers during the fourth quarter of their 132-100 win at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Monday.
Golden State Warriors centre DeMarcus Cousins dunks against the Indiana Pacers during the fourth quarter of their 132-100 win at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Monday. PHOTO: USA TODAY SPORTS

"We're in a groove, we're in a good place. We've just got to keep going."

DeMarcus Cousins added 22 points for the Warriors, shaking off a scary fall in the first quarter.

Cousins, playing just his fifth game for the Warriors after missing almost an entire year with a torn Achilles tendon, went down hard after Indiana's Myles Turner fouled him in transition in the first quarter.

"I wasn't actually hurt, I was more spooked from the fall," said Cousins, who was slow to rise but stayed in the game.

Kevin Durant added 16 points for the Warriors, who let "banged up" Draymond Green sit out to rest.

Myles Turner led the Pacers (32-17) with 16 points, but Indiana dropped their second straight since losing guard Victor Oladipo to a season-ending knee injury.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 30, 2019, with the headline 'Warriors display play-off mentality in rout of Pacers'. Print Edition | Subscribe