Indiana beat Golden State last night in the most thrilling fashion. There were an NBA season-high 25 lead changes, and the George Hill steal/breakaway game-winner was one of the most spectacular finishes you could ever see in this sport. It was a nice blend of the league’s two signature slogans over the years: FAN-tastic and where amazing happens.
But while any win on the road in the NBA is a good win, it seemed as though this one shouldn’t have needed the late-game theatrics. Indiana seemed to be out-playing Golden State, but never managed to get any separation on the scoreboard. In the fourth quarter, this was mostly because the Warriors’ dynamic backcourt duo of Monta Ellis and Steph Curry cared not for the Pacers’ excellent defense. Time and time again, they drilled improbably shots over the hands of those guarding them. A few times, George Hill was right in Monta’s grill but it mattered not. Ellis and Curry just continued the onslaught.
Until they didn’t.
Monta had the ball with under 20 seconds to play and the score tied. He wound down the clock and prepared to put a move on Hill to make something happen. He reared back for a crossover. And then Hill bent it like Beckham and took off the other way for a one-on-none layup, plus a futile foul from Curry as he finished.
Now down 3, the Warriors had one last chance and 2 seconds to tie it up. They ran a stellar inbounds play to free up Dell Curry’s son for a three he would probably hit 7-out-of-10 times in practice. But he missed. Badly.
But watch the video below of all the tough shots the Dubs needed to keep it close enough to lose so spectacularly.