7.6 seconds remained on the clock in the fourth quarter with the Thunder down by three giving OKC a chance to send it to overtime. Let’s face it, every Thunder fan knew what was coming. A Westbrook three-pointer was shot and missed TWICE; both were decent looks given the circumstances, but a Russ miracle shot didn’t happen tonight.
Westbrook still had a terrific game posting 27 points, 18 rebounds, 9 assists, 2 blocks and 1 steal. He continued his fourth quarter scoring heroics with 11 points in the quarter. He hit 3 three-pointers in the fourth and was very close to hitting another three in the final possession of the game. Oladipo had 14 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 block and 1 steal. He went scoreless from downtown and missed a potential game tying three set up by Westbrook in the corner with 33 seconds left. Tough game for Vickie in his college stomping grounds.
The Thunder were up 52-41 at halftime, but the Pacers made the right adjustments after the half and outscored OKC by 14 in the third quarter. The Thunder offense looked sloppy in the third and had to battle back to get this to a possession game. The defense looked solid in the final few possessions with Adams blocking Paul George at the rim, Roberson stealing the ball from Paul George with less than a minute in regulation and Jerami Grant grabbing an offensive rebound to give Westbrook a second chance to send it to overtime–but the Thunder didn’t score in the final two minutes of the game. In their last four possessions, the Thunder went scoreless and that’s sort of important in winning basketball games.
The Pacers got out-rebounded by 24, but they remained steadfast in the second half and got scoring contributions from everyone on their team that played tonight. They had 6 less turnovers and were +8 in free throws attempted. That was enough to pull away with the W this time. Paul George had 21 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals. He didn’t shoot the ball particularly well, going 7-of-20 from the field, but hit a clutch mid-range shot that put the Pacers up three. He’s welcome to make shots like that for OKC anytime.
Tough loss for OKC, but it was good to see the team rally together and make this one close. It really could’ve went either way, but it was just too little and too late to get the win tonight. This was a road game and was the second night of a back-to-back, so it’s an understandable loss, but they really could’ve used a win given their next few opponents. They’ll need all the momentum they can get for Cleveland and Golden State coming up.
- Steven Adams got more touches tonight, I really liked seeing that. He had 15 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 block. He had 7 offensive rebounds tonight. He’s now had 27 offensive rebounds in the past three games!
- Domantis Sabonis is struggling hard as of late. I think it’s worth it to keep him as the starting Power Forward, but it’s been a rough four game stretch for him. He’s shot 2-of-21 from the field so far this month.
- Jeff Teague had 17 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists and 1 block. Solid game from him.
- Jerami Grant is getting better by the day on this team. He had 8 points, 3 rebound and 5 blocks. I don’t necessarily think he should start at the 3 or 4, but it’s not the worst idea out there. He had a block on Teague that looked like a volleyball spike late in the game.
- Abrines returned tonight and hit two quick three-pointers. He only played 8 minutes and he probably should’ve played a little more. His floor spacing is so valuable to this team.
- Glenn Robinson III had 14 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 steal. He shot a perfect 5-for-5 from the field and 3-for-3 from downtown.
- Myles Turner didn’t shoot the ball particularly well on 3-of-12 from the field, but he still had an impact with 10 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals and 4 blocks.
- I had to end this by giving credit to Andre Roberson. He had his third double-double of his career and this is his second double-double in a row. He had 11 points, 11 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals and 2 blocks. He’s finding ways to succeed on offense and I really hope he can keep this up because he’s an elite defensive player. He also had another poster dunk tonight, this time it was all over Myles Turner.
Next Up: Cleveland at home on Thursday at 7:00 pm CST