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Warriors’ defense the difference in win over Pacers

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The Dubs finished 2-2 on their eastern road trip.

Photo by Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images

For the second straight game, the Golden State Warriors’ defense stymied the opposition in the fourth quarter.

The Dubs held the Indiana Pacers to just eight-of-18 shooting in the final period and went on to a 111-107 win.

Golden State did the same thing in its victory over the New York Knicks on Tuesday and smothered Indiana with the game on the line. The Dubs were active on the defensive end throughout the game and were quick on their rotations. They were able to get out on the Pacers’ shooters, holding Indy to seven-of-29 shooting from beyond the arc.

As usual, Stephen Curry led the way with 24 points, but it wasn’t a one-man show. The Warriors had five other players score in double figures, including Eric Paschall, who chipped in with 13 points, six of them came in the final quarter.

Paschall has had an up-and-down season, but much like teammate Kelly Oubre Jr., he is at his best when he is attacking the rim and not settling for jumpers. Pachall was aggressive in the final period and came up with three big-boy buckets, including this one that extended the lead to six with 1:14 remaining.

The Dubs were ice-cold from the outside, connecting on just 19.2% of their attempts from deep but scored 66 points in the paint, 22 more than their season average. Attacking the paint and playing well defensively has been a recipe for success for the team.

Since the first of the month, Golden State ranks third in opponents’ field goal percentage and sixth in defensive rating, a big turnaround from the start of the season.

It was a sluggish start for the Warriors. They missed their first six 3-point attempts and trailed 12-9 six minutes into the game. But Golden State rebounded to go on a 14-7 run to get back into the game and held a 25-22 lead after one.

The Warriors’ defense was on point once again. They did a great job of challenging Indiana’s 3-point attempts, holding the Pacers to just three-of-14 shooting from deep. Unfortunately, Golden State also struggled from outside, shooting only 13.3 percent in the first half.

Despite playing on Tuesday, the Warriors didn’t look fatigued, matching Indiana’s energy over the opening 24 minutes as the Pacers took a 58-56 lead into the break.

Both teams’ struggles with outside shooting carried over into the third, combining to go three-for-14 from beyond the arc. But Golden State did a good job attacking the rim during the quarter scoring 20 of its 28 points from a mix of buckets inside the paint and free throws. The Dubs took an 84-80 lead in the fourth, where they were able to hang on for the victory.

Golden State improved to 18-15 and sits only one game out of fifth in the Western Conference.

Next up: The Warriors get a chance at revenge when they host the Charlotte Hornets on Friday.