By Dan Zalewski
Associate Sports Editor
The defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors, and their MVP point guard Steph Curry, have stayed undefeated through the first 23 games of the season after a 131-123 win against the Pacers in Indianapolis last night. Last night’s victory not only extended their current record for best starting record in the NBA to 23-0, but also moved Golden State to second on the list for longest win streaks ever with 27 consecutive regular season wins dating back to last season.
Warriors’ interim head coach Luke Walton said before the game yesterday that the Pacers were one of the best teams that Golden State would have to face. The Pacers are 12-8 this season and have the Warriors to thank for some of that success. The Pacers have adopted the same fast paced style that Golden State used in its journey to claim the NBA championship last year.
Pacers’ stars Paul George and C.J. Miles have been called the East Coast Splash Brothers, a title stemming from the original Golden State splash brothers of Steph Curry and Klay Thompson. Last night’s game featured all four of these elite 3-point shooters on the floor.
“They shoot the ball well,” said Curry. “They like to shoot 3s, they like to make 3s and so do we. So it should be a fun night.”
For Thompson, last night’s game was bittersweet. He managed 29 points in the first half and ended the game with ten 3-pointers, one shy of his personal record and two shy of the NBA record for one game. Unfortunately, during the fourth quarter Thompson suffered a sprained ankle, though he insists he’ll be fine.
“Luckily it’s not a bad sprain,” he commented after the game.
Golden State may have to play a few games without Thompson being available. This is not a first-time occurrence though, as the Warriors made do without Thompson while he was suffering from a stiff back in November.
Walton spoke after the game how he was happy that the team won against such a tough opponent. The first three quarters of the game were played just how Walton wanted. The Warriors did not try to funnel the ball to any one player, instead focusing on who was open and in position for the ball.
Walton did not like the sloppy finish though, saying he is “not happy about giving up 40 points in the fourth.”
The Golden State Warriors travel to Boston to play the Celtics on Friday before rounding out their road trip on Saturday in Milwaukee against the Bucks.