OAKLAND -- The Warriors' 103-92 win over visiting Indiana was of a different breed.
It wasn't the same résumé highlight as their victory at the Los Angeles Clippers, or last week's win over visiting Brooklyn. Nor was it the emotional, revenge victory they scored over Denver on Friday or in the season opener at Phoenix. And it certainly wasn't the dominating performance the Warriors are still looking to put together.
Saturday's win was of the mundane-yet-difficult kind Golden State (10-6) will need to pile up as the season matriculates. An under-the-radar victory on a forgettable December night that failed to lure a sell-out crowd at Oracle. An earned triumph over a sturdy Indiana squad all-too-easy to overlook yet good enough to make the Warriors pay if they had.
"We knew this was going to be a grind-it-out game," said forward David Lee, who shot 4 of 12 but managed to post his seventh double-double in nine games (13 point, 12 rebounds).
"This wasn't going to be a flashy game. ... This counts as much as the Denver game does in the standings. This is one of them games that might not make the national news, but it's a game that we're going to need. Now we're looking at 10-6 instead of 9-7. That's a big difference."
Point guard Stephen Curry finished with 20 points and 11 assists in 37 minutes. It was his second consecutive game with at least 20 points and 10 assists.
Golden State guard Klay Thompson had a team-high
Golden State has won three straight and five of its last six for the first time since 2008. Monday, the Warriors host Orlando with a chance to move five games above .500 as they head on a seven-game trip.
The schedule gets brutal in January and February when the Warriors start taking on the league's top teams on a regular basis. But for now, they are doing exactly what they need to do -- keep plugging along, storing up victories like squirrels hoard nuts for the winter.
"We've got a group of guys that are just invested in each other," coach Mark Jackson said.
Down 23-22, the Warriors put together a 9-1 run to create some separation from the Pacers. The spurt was powered by Carl Landry, who converted back-to-back three-point plays inside. Then a tip-in by rookie forward Draymond Green put Golden State ahead 32-23 lead with 8:35 left in the second quarter.
Not even a minute later, Lee converted a hook and got the foul. His free throw gave Golden State a 10-point advantage.
The Pacers erased it later in the second quarter. Indiana point guard George Hill hit a step-back jumper to cap a 17-6 run that put the Pacers ahead 41-50.
But Golden State closed the half with a 10-2 run. The Warriors got a three-point play by Curry, a 3-pointer from Thompson, then a steal by Lee led to a breakaway layup for Curry just before the horn. The Warriors led 51-44 at the half.
Golden State never relinquished control. The Pacers strung together a few basket here and there, creating mild tension. But each time, the Warriors responded and never led by fewer than six in the fourth quarter.
One of the reasons the Warriors brought him back up so fast is Golden State's bench has been hit hard by injuries. Center Andrew Bogut (left ankle), swingman Brandon Rush (left knee) and small forward Richard Jefferson (strained right calf) are all out. Bazemore gives Golden State insurance.
This time, the Warriors are sending down second-year forward Jeremy Tyler to the D-League and not Bazemore.
Tyler will play in the Santa Cruz Warriors' road game at Reno on Sunday.