Notebook: Thunder 97, Pacers 75



Posted Apr 5, 2013 11:42 PM

By Conrad Brunner, for NBA.com

THE FACTS: The first half ended with Kevin Durant rolling around on the floor in pain. But he returned from the calf contusion to scored 22 of his 34 points in the second half -- 15 in the fourth quarter -- as the Oklahoma City Thunder completed an impressive back-to-back sweep with a 97-75 rout of the Indiana Pacers Friday, snapping their five-game winning streak.

Coming off a win over San Antonio, and against an Indiana team with three days off, the Thunder (56-20) had the most energy down the stretch and dominated the fourth quarter, outscoring Indiana 25-8. The Pacers (48-28) shot just 2-for-18 -- 0-for-9 from the 3-point line -- in the final period. Russell Westbrook had 24 points for the Thunder, who moved into a tie with San Antonio for the top seed in the Western Conference. Indiana failed to clinch the Central Division (the magic number remains at one) and fell 1.5 games behind New York in the race for the second seed in the East.

QUOTABLE: "It's a very good back-to-back. Going into this part of the schedule we knew San Antonio/Indiana would be tough because they're elite teams that value every possession, but we like to think we're the same kind of team. It ranks up there with the best wins of the year for us."

-- Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks

THE STAT: Durant scored two points on 1-for-4 shooting in the game's first 20 minutes. He scored 32 on 12-for-17 shooting in the final 28.

TURNING POINT: The game was close through three quarters, with neither team leading by more than eight and Oklahoma City taking a 72-67 lead into the fourth. That's when Durant took over, scoring the first six points of the period in a 9-0 run that pushed the lead to 81-67. Indiana, which missed its first seven shots, got a couple of buckets from David West to close to 81-72 but Durant scored nine in a 13-2 run that put this one away.

QUOTABLE II: "We were up five or six points [entering the fourth quarter] and I just tried to take us over the top."

-- Kevin Durant

HOT: Durant shot 13-for-21 overall, 2-for-3 from the 3-point line, and also had nine rebounds. ... Roy Hibbert continued his recent surge for Indiana, scoring 22 points on 8-for-14 shooting. ... West scored 17 on 7-for-14 shooting.

NOT: Paul George struggled mightily at both ends against Durant, managing just eight points on 3-for-11 shooting and missing all six of his 3-point attempts. ... Indiana guards George Hill and Lance Stephenson combined to shoot 6-for-19, 1-for-9 from the arc. ... Indiana's reserves combined to shoot 3-for-14.

QUOTABLE III: "Westbrook and Durant, if you're not exceptional on the ball against those guys, they'll burn you and they burned us tonight. It just seemed we were a step slow to every loose ball. Kevin Durant is ridiculous. Just an elite, elite scorer."

-- Indiana coach Frank Vogel

NOTABLE: Durant went down after colliding with teammate Serge Ibaka trailing Westbrook in transition on the final shot of the half. As the buzzer sounded and players began to file off the floor, Durant stayed down, rolling back and forth in obvious pain. He was helped up by teammates and walked gingerly to the locker room but was treated during the break and returned for the start of the second half ... Indiana has been outscored 66-36 in the fourth quarters of the last two games. ... Indiana had averaged 104.8 points in its five-game win streak but the Thunder limited the Pacers to .375 shooting overall, 2-for-21 from the arc. ... This was Hibbert's fourth game of at least 20 points in the last five and third straight. ... Oklahoma City dominated the boards 53-31 and outscored Indiana 21-7 on second-chance points. ... Hasheem Thabeet picked up a technical foul for tangling with Tyler Hansbrough during a rebound battle in the second quarter, and Westbrook was hit with a technical for complaining about a no-call on a drive to the bucket a few minutes later. ... Nick Collison needed a heavy bandage to wrap a cut on his hand that left blood spattered all over the back of Hansbrough's jersey as well as the court.

UP NEXT: For the Pacers, Saturday @ Washington, Tuesday vs. Cleveland, Friday vs. Brooklyn. For the Thunder, Sunday vs. New York, Tuesday @ Utah, Thursday @ Golden State.