OAKLAND – The Warriors sprinted out to an early lead Friday night and maintained it throughout in a 122-110 win over the Indiana Pacers.
Head coach Steve Kerr made his season debut after missing the first 43 games while recovering from multiple back surgeries. The sellout crowd (19,596) at Oracle Arena welcomed him with two standing ovations and prolonged applause.
All-Star point guard Stephen Curry welcomed his coach with something even more impressive: a triple-double, his second of the season.
Curry’s game-high 39 points led five Warriors scoring in double figures. Draymond Green scored 22 points, Klay Thompson totaled 18, Leandro Barbosa had 13 and Andre Iguodala added 10.
The Warriors didn’t fall for the “trap game” – they face the powerful San Antonio Spurs on Monday – moving to 40-4, while the Pacers fell to 23-20.
The Warriors limited the Pacers to 17.3-percent shooting from 3-point distance, while outrebounding them, 50-44, and outscoring the Pacers in fast-break points, 30-18.
Curry was marvelous throughout and deserves the honor.
His line: 39 points (11-of-19 shooting, 8-of-15 from deep, 9-of-9 free throws), 12 assists and 10 rebounds. He played 37 minutes and finished a game-best plus-22.
Green also submitted a fine line: 22 points (10-of-15 shooting) and 11 rebounds.
The Warriors followed the opening tip with an immediate 22-8 burst, taking a 14-point lead with 5:59 left in the first quarter. They took a 32-18 lead into the second quarter.
The Warriors shot 56.5 percent in the opening quarter, while holding Indiana to 32 percent.
Though the Pacers outplayed the Warriors for much of the final three quarters, they never got closer than six (88-82, 10:42 remaining).
Warriors: F James Michael McAdoo (L foot toe sprain), listed as doubtful, was declared out prior to tipoff.
Pacers: C Ian Mahinmi (L ankle sprain) was listed as questionable and declared out prior to tipoff. G Rodney Stuckey (R foot sprain/bone bruise) and G George Hill (personal reasons) were listed as out.
The Warriors return to action Monday night at Oracle Arena, where they play host to the Spurs. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:35 pm.