INDIANAPOLIS -- Unleashing his killer instinct, Klay Thompson hit the game-winning shot for the Warriors that doubled as a strong statement.
Thompson's fadeaway with six-tenths of a second left lifted the Warriors to a 98-96 win Tuesday against Eastern Conference-leading Indiana and showed they can win in difficult circumstances without simply relying on Stephen Curry.
It was Thompson who got the ball for the designed final shot, backed down smaller Indiana guard George Hill and was good with the turnaround.
"That's why you play -- to fight, to score to win," Thompson said. "It was a lot of fun, especially winning on the road, silencing a crowd.
"It proves to people I can make that shot. I wanted that shot."
Thompson poured in 16 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter while Curry sat for a large chunk of the final period in which he committed three turnovers as the Pacers erased a 13-point Warriors lead.
Two of those turnovers came during the Pacers' 12-0 run to tie the score at 94. Curry then stepped out of bounds with 46.1 seconds left and the score tied at 96, making it seven fourth-quarter turnovers over the past two games.
"I owe Klay about seven dinners," said Curry, who finished with 19 points, eight rebounds and six assists as his backcourt mate caught fire.
Indiana's David West scored a game-high 27 points, including picking Curry's pocket for a steal and dunk in the fourth to lead the comeback. Paul George added 26 but missed 3-pointers in the Pacers' final two possessions as his shot at the buzzer went off the back iron. He helped play solid defense on Curry late in the game.
"If a team is going to try to take away our best player, then you've got to make them pay the price," Warriors coach Mark Jackson said. "And I thought for a stretch there, we got a little tentative, expecting Steph to bring it home. You've got to go and make plays. You can't sit and watch, and the game turned when we began to do that."
The Warriors clung to a 75-72 lead when Thompson began his scoring spree, pouring in 14 of the next 17 points while the team's second unit was on the floor making contributions in what Jackson called "a thing of beauty." Draymond Green had 10 points, seven rebounds and three assists, while Harrison Barnes had 10 points and five rebounds. Jermaine O'Neal had seven points, four rebounds and two blocks in 30 minutes.
"When we don't know what to do offensively, go to Steph," Green said. "When nobody else can hit a shot, go to Steph. He picks us up all the time.
"When he's struggling like he did in the fourth quarter, it's critical for us to back him. Because if we don't, we lose that game."
The Warriors scored a signature win on their six-game trip and can clinch a winning trip with a victory Wednesday at Boston. They became the only Western Conference team to earn road wins this season against Indiana and Miami, the top two teams in the Eastern Conference.
"With all due respect to those teams, when we play our best basketball, we can beat anybody," Jackson said. "The problem is, if we don't, we can be beaten by anybody."
Thanks to Thompson, the Warriors snapped a six-game losing streak in games played at Indiana and did it with the crowd fired up over the Pacers' hopes for a comeback win.
"We can't just put everything on Steph's shoulders," Thompson said. "It's too much for him. He already does so much for this team that we've got to get him a break sometimes. He's our engine that makes us go, so we've got to help him out as much you can."
Warriors (37-24) at Boston
(20-40), 4:30 p.m. CSNBA
For the win!
A look at the Warriors'
game-winning shots made in the final 5 seconds this season:
Date Opp. Player
Nov. 14 OKC Andre Iguodala
Dec. 11 DAL Stephen Curry
Jan. 3 @ATL Andre Iguodala
Jan. 10 BOS Stephen Curry
Tuesday @IND Klay Thompson