The Golden State Warriors have received a nice boost off the bench in their last two games. The Indiana Pacers are looking for any kind of lift as they continue a western trip.
The Warriors try to win a season high-tying third in a row Wednesday night when they face a Pacers team coming off one of its worst defensive effort of the season.
Averaging a Western Conference-worst 24.0 points off the bench, Golden State (17-23) hopes for another big effort from its substitutes as it continues a five-game homestand and a stretch of 13 of 14 at Oracle Arena.
Led by Reggie Williams, the Warriors' reserves have accounted for more than 25 points in back-to-back games for the first time since late November. They shot 52.6 percent from the field in those victories, including 8 of 15 on 3-point attempts.
After Williams scored 16 points and Vladimir Radmanovic added 13 off the bench in Friday's 122-112 win over the Los Angeles Clippers, Williams had 12 and fellow backup Acie Law added eight -- one off his season high -- in a 109-100 victory over New Jersey on Monday.
"We expect that night in and night out from (Williams)," said starter Stephen Curry, who has played six fewer minutes than his teammate over the last two games due to foul trouble and defensive matchups.
"He made some big shots. In the fourth quarter, he always comes out and makes a big shot for us, especially when we really need it."
Giving the ball to Monta Ellis is also a good option. Averaging a career-high 25.7 points, Ellis is scoring 31.3 per game on 52.9 percent shooting in the last three contests.
He had 45 points, then a career high, in the most recent matchup with the Pacers as the Warriors won 126-107 on Nov. 30, 2009. It was Indiana's third straight loss in Oakland.
The Pacers (16-22) return to the Bay Area following a 114-107 loss to the Clippers on Monday. Indiana, among the best in the league in field goal percentage defense (43.7), surrendered a season-high 54.3 percent against the Clippers. Los Angeles rookie forward Blake Griffin scored 47 points, the most by an NBA player this season.
"We couldn't guard him," coach Jim O'Brien said after the Pacers' opener of a four-game road trip.
It might be tough for O'Brien's team to slow down the Warriors, who are shooting 50.8 percent and averaging 113.7 points in their last three contests. They've averaged 123.0 points in Indiana's last two visits to Oracle Arena.
Golden State has had its own problems trying to handle Pacers point guard Darren Collison. Then with New Orleans, Collison had 16 points with a career-high 20 assists in a March 8 matchup before scoring 20 points with 14 assists in a victory in Oakland nine days later.
Collins had a season-high 30 points with eight assists Monday and Danny Granger scored 32, but the rest of the Pacers shot a combined 15 of 41.
Granger had 22 points in Oakland last season after averaging 38.0 in the previous three matchups with the Warriors.