Pacers 94, Warriors 91
Key play: With the score tied at 91-91, and the game clock winding down, Monta Ellis started to go one-on-one against George Hill. Ellis tried to cross Hill over but the ball hit Hills foot and came loose.Hill grabbed the loose ball and headed the other way for a layup. He got there, scored the bucket and got fouled by Stephen Curry with 1.8 seconds remaining. Hill knocked down the free throw for the games final margin.
Warriors coach Mark Jackson said afterward that the refs missed the call, feeling Hills kick was intentional, but that seemed impossible to tell even with replay.Said Jackson: We flattened it out and looked for him (Ellis) to make a play and he had it going. In that situation you have an option to call timeout or not I had the ball in my best scorers hands and I felt good about it.Said Pacers coach Frank Vogel on the games critical play: I thought he got his hand on it and stripped him on the crossover. I thought he had the right hand on it. I could be wrong.The Warriors did have one final chance to tie and Stephen Curry got a great look at a 3-point attempt. But it missed.
Curry returns: Point guard Stephen Curry returned to the Warriors lineup after missing eight games because of a sprained right ankle. Curry didnt seem to be favoring the ankle while playing, although he did get off to a slow start shooting the ball.He didnt make his first field goal until seven-and-a-half minutes remained in the second quarter -- and after missing his first four attempts. Jackson said before the game that Curry didnt have a minutes limit, but that Currys playing time would be determined by the flow of the game and how Curry looked out there.Unconventional strategy: Jackson took a little bit of a gamble on Wednesday night against the New Jersey Nets, when he allowed David Lee to continue playing with three fouls in the second quarter and with four fouls in the third quarter.Most coaches will take out a player with three fouls for the remainder of the first half and also will often remove a player after picking up foul No. 4 in the third quarter.I think its overrated, Jackson said of removing players with three fouls in the first half and with four fouls in the third quarter. It doesnt matter. I know what it takes to foul him out. Its important that I have trust in the guys to understand the situation and not pick up a cheap one. Im not going to compromise my teams chances of winning.Lee didnt pick up his fourth foul in the second quarter against the Nets, and Jackson removed him midway through the period. But only after Lee played about five minutes with that many fouls.Lee did pick up his fifth foul, however, in the third quarter after Jackson didnt remove him after No. 4."Its been successful for us," Jackson maintained. "...I just think its overrated. Whether Im right or wrong, that can be up for debate, but thats what I believe. There are some guys you cant do that with because theyre not disciplined enough to not pick up another foul. It takes some trust in the players."Biedrins block: With his block in the first half, Andris Biedrins tied former Warrior George Johnson for seventh place in franchise history with 507 career blocks.