INDIANAPOLIS – Klay Thompson seized the moment twice Tuesday night.
With a victory seemingly slipping away late in the third quarter, his quick scoring flurry helped Golden State regain control early in the fourth. Then, when it seemed the Warriors wouldn’t be able to hold off Indiana’s late charge, he knocked down a 4-meter turnaround jumper with 0.6 seconds to go, giving the Warriors a rare 98-96 victory in Indianapolis.
“We’ll take any win we can get in this building,” Thompson said. “This team is real good here. They’re the best in the NBA (at home). To come here and get a win, it’s huge, especially on this road trip.”
Thompson was terrific in his dramatic closing act. He started the quarter by making his first three shots and finished with 16 of his 25 points over the final 12 minutes — none bigger than the baseline fadeaway he hit over George Hill.
For the Warriors (37-24), it was a monumental victory.
They have won five of six and are 6-2 since the All-Star break. They have matched last season’s road victory total (19), the first time they’ve achieved the feat in back-to-back seasons since 1970-71 and 1971-72, and they snapped a six-game losing streak in Indy that dated to Feb. 5, 2007.
The victory also gives Golden State the distinction of being the only team in the league this season with wins at Miami, the two-time defending league champion, and at Indiana, which owns the league’s best record and best home record (29-4).
The Warriors can thank Thompson for bailing them out after blowing a 13-point lead with less than 6½ minutes to go.
“He was great,” Golden State coach Mark Jackson said. “He’s durable and you take him for granted. He’s a guy who’s never missed a game. He was big-time.”
It was a stinging loss for the Pacers (46-14), who had won five straight and could have clinched a playoff spot in front of a sellout crowd.
Paul George had 12 points and eight rebounds in the first quarter. He finished with 26 points and 12 rebounds, missing a potential go-ahead 3-pointer with 23.9 seconds left and the 9-meter buzzer beater that would have won it as he fell into the scorer’s table. David West had 27 points and seven rebounds.
Yet the league’s top-ranked defense allowed Golden State to shoot 44 percent from the field and make 10 of 20 3s — the latest uncharacteristic showing against the NBA’s third-best team in defending the arc.
The only good thing was that the Pacers didn’t lose any ground in the chase for the top seed in the East. They’re still two games ahead of Miami after the Heat lost at Houston.
But West knows the Pacers can’t continue to rely on beating up bad teams and cranking up the intensity when necessary.
“Mentally, we’ve got to be way tougher than we are because it’s time, you know, it’s just time,” West said. “It’s just not something that you can just say a week before the playoffs, say, ‘OK.’ You’ve got to work your way into it. But as a group, it’s time. We’ve got a tough three-game trip coming up and it’s just time.”
Rockets 106, Heat 103
In Houston, Dwight Howard had 22 points and 16 rebounds, James Harden added 21 points and the Rockets held LeBron James in check.
James had 22 points, one night after setting a club record with a career-best 61 against Charlotte.
Thunder 125, 76ers 92
In Oklahoma City. Russell Westbrook had a triple-double in 21 minutes and Kevin Durant scored 42 points to help the Thunder defeat woeful Philadelphia for their third straight win.
James Anderson scored 20 for the 76ers, who lost their 15th in a row, their longest slide since a 15-game skid in 1994. Philadelphia shot just 34 percent.
Spurs 122, Cavaliers 101
In Cleveland, Danny Green scored 24 points and San Antonio turned to its 3-point shooting to shake off a sluggish start in a victory over the Cavaliers.
Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters scored 24 each for Cleveland, which has lost nine straight to the Spurs.
Clippers 104, Suns 96
In Phoenix, Matt Barnes scored 18 of his season-high 28 points in the third quarter and Los Angeles beat the Suns for its fifth victory in a row.
Pelicans 132, Lakers 125
In Los Angeles, Anthony Davis had 28 points and 15 rebounds, Eric Gordon also scored 28 and New Orleans beat the Lakers to snap an eight-game losing streak.