After losing three straight for the first time this season, Oklahoma City bounced back in about the most perfect way possible, blowing past the Pacers 113-89.
Really, there was nothing wrong with the night as the defense dominated, the offense clicked and the team played with good level of intensity for four quarters. Except for the fact that Kevin Durant rolled his left ankle hard and eventually had to be helped off the floor. That part kind of sucked, a lot. I’d imagine Durant will miss a game or two. But try and forget that for now, because this win over Indiana is exactly what Thunder fans were looking for coming in.
(OK, I’ll admit, I haven’t forgotten about KD’s ankle. I’ve been thinking about it constantly. But let’s move on.)
It started early as OKC jumped out to a 10-0 lead and held the Pacers scoreless for the first four-plus minutes. James Harden was terrific in the first half, dropping 17 of his 20 total points in just 11 first half minutes. There’s no doubt that Harden is really coming along lately. He understands the need for him to assert himself with Jeff Green gone and he’s taking advantage. Now with the prospect of Durant potentially missing a few games, Harden will have to continue playing aggressively. Harden’s evolution has been sort of quiet, but go back and look. He’s had a nice February and really, has been a pretty terrific sixth man for OKC.
The Pacers helped the Thunder quite a bit as they turned it over 17 times, with 12 in the first half. But a lot of the turnovers were complete giveaways which led to Thunder transition opportunities. OKC shot the ball really well and moved it splendidly, as the Thunder finished with 26 assists. All the talk about the offense struggling post-trade was premature anyway, but this game showed that the Thunder will be fine scoring the ball. Especially when Harden and Daequan Cook (12 points on 4-7 from 3) give them so much off the bench. Keep Reading…