NBA Friday RoundUp: Pacers Beat Warriors in Golden State

Tyrese Haliburton led the Pacers over the Warriors in Golden State, scoring 26 points and dishing out 11 assists. Pascal Siakam had a solid all-round game, adding 25 points and grabbing 16 rebounds.

The game was relatively close at the half but Indiana pulled away in the third quarter, outscoring Golden State 36-21.  Haliburton was a key catalyst in the Pacers’ run with 11 points in the third quarter.

NBA Friday RoundUp: Pacers Beat Warriors in Golden State
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Stephen Curry was the leading scorer for the Warriors with 25 points and 10 rebounds. He went 3-18 from three-point range. Veteran point guard Chris Paul was ejected in the final seconds after picking up two quick technical fouls.

The Pacers have now clinched a spot in the play-in tournament with the Brooklyn Nets losing Thursday. They are however only half a game up on the Miami Heat in the sixth spot as they look to avoid the play-in entirely.

Indiana are 5-0 at the Chase Center, which means they are the only remaining unbeaten team against the Warriors since they moved to San Francisco. 

The Warriors on the other hand, came into Friday with the final spot in the play-in tournament. They are trailing the Los Angeles Lakers by half a game. It seems that the team’s most likely path to the postseason is through the play-in tournament which is not guaranteed if they don’t close the regular season strong.

The Pacers will be visiting the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday while the Warriors will visit the high-flying Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday next.

OKC Top Raptors 123-103 On The Road

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander was at it again, dropping 23 points as OKC routed the Raptors 123-103. Chet Holmgren was dominant inside with 18 points and 10 rebounds. 

Oklahoma City pulled away late to beat the short-handed Toronto Raptors but weren’t exactly convincing in doing so. Jalen Williams added 20 points and Kenrich Williams and Cason Wallace each had 12. The Western Conference-leading Thunder won their fourth straight and extended Toronto’s season-worst losing streak to nine.

This was Canadian native Gilgeous-Alexander’s first and only visit to his home country this season. His eight assists and seven rebounds filled up the stat columns as he didn’t push too hard on offense. 

The Raptors were short-handed and led by rookie Gradey Dick  who had 21 points. This was one shy of his career-best. Prior to the game, Toronto guard Gary Trent Jr. was ruled out due to a sore lower back. That left the Raptors without seven players which included all five regular starters. 

Player’s listed out included: Immanuel Quickley (personal reasons), Scottie Barnes (left hand), center Jakob Poeltl (left pinkie), forward RJ Barrett (personal), forward Chris Boucher (right knee) and guard DJ Carton (right ankle).

The big stat for the night was the 27 turnovers by the Raptors which was forced by 17 steals by the Thunder. This was the third most number of steals by any NBA Team this season.

The Thunder will have a much tougher game coming up against the Milwaukee Bucks on Sunday night on the road.

Clippers Handle Blazers 125-117 

Paul George had one of the better games of the season as he scored 31 points to lead his team to a 125-117 victory against the Blazers in Portland. Kawhi Leonard had 22 as well as the Clippers swept the two-game series.

The silver lining for the Blazers was Scoot Henderson who had 24 points and 10 assists in their fifth straight loss. It should be noted that the Trail Blazers were without starting center Deandre Ayton and lost scoring leader Anfernee Simons.  

The Clippers had a lead as large as 26 points, but Leonard and George sat out the fourth quarter. They are now 44-25 on the season and are looking good for a top 4 playoff spot. They are 3.5 games below the Minnesota Tiberwolves which may be too steep a ladder to climb before the end of the season.

The Clipper will have a slightly tougher task up next when they host Philadelphia on Sunday. The 76ers will be without reigning MVP Joel Embid who has been out with a leg injury for more than a month.