NBA : Defense Leads Pacers Past Warriors

From Associated Press

The NBA's second-leading offensive team met the third-leading defensive team.

The defensive team won, but they did it with a healthy dose of offense, too.

Rik Smits scored 28 points on 12-of-14 shooting and Indiana held Golden State to 42 points in the second half of a 123-96 victory Thursday night at Indianapolis. On offense, the Pacers shot 64% from the field.

"There were so many positive things out there," Indiana Coach Larry Brown said. "We were really good."

The first half ended with Indiana ahead, 55-54, but the Pacers began to pull away late in the third period and led, 83-68, entering the final 12 minutes. A fast-break dunk by Smits stretched the lead to 91-70 early in the fourth quarter.

Over the last five games, Indiana has held opposing teams to an average of 88 points. Three of those games were victories for the Pacers, who are in first place in the Central Division.

Dale Davis added 19 points for Indiana, which held Golden State to 42% shooting. Antonio Davis grabbed 10 rebounds to lead the Pacers to a 48-31 advantage in that category.

The Warriors committed a season-high 23 turnovers. The Pacers had a season-high 14 steals.

"This is three in a row we are getting better," Brown said. "I hope it's something we can sustain."

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