INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Rodney Stuckey brushed off a sprained left ankle in another big game for the Indiana Pacers.
Stuckey scored 30 points and the Pacers overcame an early 12-point deficit to beat the NBA-leading Golden State Warriors 104-98 on Sunday night.
“We’ve been playing great basketball and it’s another great win against a great team,” Stuckey said. “We’ve just got to keep it up.”
Stuckey played after spraining his ankle in Philadelphia on Friday night in another 30-point effort.
“He’s as tough as they come,” Pacers coach Frank Vogel said. “I was reading his body language to see if he felt like he should come, but he was looking away from us as to say, ‘Don’t you dare take me out.’ So, I didn’t dare take him out.”
Showing no signs limitations, Stuckey made a cutting layup off a pass from David West to give Indiana a 91-90 lead with 3:58 left.
It was the second time in the contest he brought the nearly 18,000 fans at Bankers Life Fieldhouse to their feet. As the horn sounded to end the third, Stuckey hit a 3-pointer to give the Pacers an 81-78 lead.
“Just putting in extra work, putting up extra shots after practice,” Stuckey said. “Just doing my routine. I’m feeling more confident and just being more aggressive and that’s my game. When I’m aggressive out there on the court, that’s when I’m at my best.”
The Warriors played without star guard Stephen Curry for the first time this season. He sat out because of soreness in his right ankle.
“It is not easy without your best player,” Klay Thompson said about Curry. “It doesn’t matter who is in the game for us, we’ve got plenty of guys who can execute.”
Thompson scored 15 of his 39 points in the first quarter. Andre Iguodala added 14 for Golden State.
C.J. Watson joined Stuckey to lead the Pacers’ bench attack. The group of reserves had 61 points. It was the second straight 61-point performance for the NBA’s third-highest scoring bench.
Golden State executed well early and surged to a 38-26 lead after the first quarter, while shooting 56.5 percent from the field. It was the most points the Pacers have given up in the opening period.
But the Warriors scored just 60 points and shot 38.6 percent for the remainder of the game.
“For whatever reason, this group doesn’t always start strong, but kind of figures out where the danger areas are,” Vogel said. “We saw Klay get going and we knew we were going to have to do some things to pick up on him.”
SPORTING THE FLO-JOs
Indiana wore its 1990’s Flo-Jo jerseys for the second of six games this season. The jerseys were designed by USA Track and Field star Florence Griffith-Joyner. The Pacers are 2-0 when wearing the throwbacks.
Golden State is in the midst of playing 10 of 11 games away from Oracle Arena where the Warriors hold the NBA’s best home record at 24-2 and are now 19-8 on the road.
Warriors: The Warriors shot 95.4 percent from the free throw line. Their lone miss came on the last attempt of the night with 23.5 seconds to play.
Pacers: Paul George was the lone Indiana player on the injury report. Pacers players have missed a combined total of 180 games and Indiana has used 12 different starting lineups. ... Indiana outscored the Warriors 30-19 in the second quarter and held the league’s top offense to 26.9 percent shooting.
Warriors: Visit Washington on Tuesday night.
Pacers: Visit Oklahoma City on Tuesday night.