Summer League Recap: Pacers 94, Thunder 71
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By John Denton
July 9, 2014
ORLANDO -- The Indiana Pacers got more stellar play from blossoming point guard Donald Sloan, shot 52.9 percent from the floor and drilled nine 3-pointers in a 94-71 rout of Oklahoma City in Orlando Pro Summer League play on Wednesday.
The Pacers (2-1) trailed by a point after the first quarter, but used a 34-13 edge in the second period to break the game open. Indiana led by as many as 31 points in the fourth quarter of the one-sided game.
Sloan continued to strengthen his bid for playing time next season with his 19-point, six-assist performance on Wednesday. He made seven of 10 shots and four of five 3-pointers. It was the second game in a row that the Pacers have had big second-quarter performances to take control of games.
``We’re responding to runs a lot better. Teams are always going to have runs; it’s how you handle them and respond,’’ Sloan said after Wednesday’s win. ``I’d say it was my best game so far, aside from the turnovers.’’
The Pacers also got 17 points from shooting guard Frank Gaines, 15 points and 12 rebounds from Kevin Jones and 12 points from James Nunnally. Gaines and Nunnally made two 3-pointers apiece, while Jones’ six offensive boards held Indiana outrebound OKC 38-31.
The Thunder (1-3) came to Orlando with roster players Jeremy Lamb, Steven Adams and Perry Jones, but they have been the disappointment of the OPSL so far. Rookie Mitch McGary led the Thunder with 15 points off the bench on Wednesday.
Lamb, who played his way into OKC’s regular-season rotation last season, struggled mightily on Wednesday, He missed 13 of his 17 shots and eight of his nine attempts from 3-point range. Adams, who surprisingly became one of the NBA’s top rookies last season, added 10 points and eight rebounds, but he turned the ball over five times and missed six of 10 free throws on Wednesday.
Sloan, a 6-foot-3, 20-5-pound guard from Texas A & M, appeared in 48 games for the Pacers last season and he figures to play a more prominent role next season on an Indiana team that could potentially lose guard Lance Stephenson in free agency. In three summer league games this week, Sloan is averaging 18 points and four assists while shooting 48.5 percent from the floor and 54.5 percent from 3-point range.