INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Golden State Warriors followed the script perfectly for three quarters Tuesday night.
Then things got a bit more interesting.
The defending NBA champions improved to 23-0, with Klay Thompson scoring a season-high 39 points and Stephen Curry adding 29 points, seven rebounds and 10 assists in a 131-123 victory over the Indiana Pacers.
Thompson scored 29 points in the first half, during which the Warriors went on a 22-0 run. Golden State led by 28 in the fourth quarter before the Pacers closed within six in the final 25 seconds.
The Warriors have won 27 straight dating to last season, tying the 2012-13 Heat for the second-longest streak in NBA history. The 1971-72 Lakers hold the record with 33 wins in a row.
Golden State also has won 13 straight road games this season, breaking a tie with the 1969-70 Knicks for the league’s best road start. The Warriors next play on Friday night in Boston.
Indiana was led by Paul George with 33 points and C.J. Miles with 24.
Golden State broke away in the first quarter with its big burst, extended the lead to 50-28 early in the second quarter and led by as much as 32 late in the third quarter.
But Indiana came back in the fourth, cutting the deficit to 129-123 with 24.8 seconds to go when George made a free throw after Draymond Green was called for a technical foul. That was as close as the Pacers could get.
Indiana tied a dubious franchise record in its NBA era by allowing 44 first-quarter points and barely avoided another record-breaking defensive low when it trailed 79-60 at the half.
The Pacers gave up 44 points in the opening quarter at Chicago in December 1990 and a franchise-worst 80 points in the first half at the Lakers in November 1978.
This time, it was largely because of Thompson who was 8 of 10 on 3-pointers in the first half. He finished 10 of 16 from beyond the arc, one short of the career high he had in January against Sacramento.
Curry, the reigning MVP and league’s top scorer, was 11 of 23 from the field and made three 3s. He’s now made at least one 3 in 87 consecutive road games, tying the league record set by Rashard Lewis from 2007-09.
Warriors interim coach Luke Walton has noticed some not-so-subtle changes around the league this season. A lot of teams, including the Pacers, are trying to take a page out of the Warriors’ small-ball playbook. Good luck. Before the game, Pacers coach Frank Vogel noted Indiana’s new up-tempo style was “light years” behind Golden State, and it showed.
Warriors: Golden State has shot 45 percent or better 20 times this season. … The Warriors have topped the 100-point mark in all 23 games this season, the first time they’ve done that since 1966-67. … The Warriors are the first franchise in the four major pro sports leagues to have 16-game winning streaks in consecutive seasons.
Pacers: Indiana has lost three straight for the first time since starting the season 0-3. … In the previous 16 games, the Pacers had limited opponents to 96.9 points and 32.8 percent shooting on 3s. … George came up one point short of notching his 5,000th career point. … The Pacers were 14 of 33 on 3s.
Warriors visit Celtics on Friday.
Pacers host Heat on Friday.