Friday, Nov. 26, 2010 at Conseco Fieldhouse




THE FACTS: Russell Westbrook played big all night, and with Kevin Durant playing even bigger late, the Oklahoma City Thunder rallied to a resilient, 110-106 overtime victory over the Indiana Pacers Friday. Wesbtook led the Thunder (11-5) with a career-high 43 points, and Durant added 25, with five of Durant's points coming in the fourth quarter and six more in overtime. Danny Granger scored 30 points for Indiana, which had a 103-102 lead in overtime before Durant scored four points on consecutive possessions to give Oklahoma City a 106-103 lead. Indiana got no closer. Durant's running, fall-away 10-footer put the Thunder ahead, 104-103, with 58.6 seconds remaining. His leaning, 17-footer on the next possession made it a three-point game with 23.1 seconds remaining. The Pacers are 7-7.

QUOTABLE: "We played hard all the way through the game. We always play hard, and I think we were rewarded tonight for our hard work and perseverance." -- Durant

THE STAT: The Thunder struggled from the field much of the game, but in keeping with their strength, they stayed in the game by getting to -- and being successful from -- the free-throw line. The Thunder shot 36 of 41 free throws, offsetting 38.9 percent shooting from the field.

TURNING POINT: The Pacers led by 14 early in the third period period before an 11-0 Thunder run made it 64-61, Indiana, with 5:47 remaining in the quarter. The Pacers pushed the lead back to eight, but the Thunder trailed by just five points after the quarter to set up a tight final quarter and overtime.

QUOTABLE II: "This is one that we should have won in regulation. We let it get away from us." --- Granger

HOT: Roy Hibbert continued to be a reason Indiana can compete with the league's stronger teams. Hibbert scored 19 points and had 10 rebounds, and the Pacers center was particularly strong during a third quarter in which Indiana for the time being held off a Thunder rally. He had nine points in the period.

NOT: The Thunder trailed by eight at halftime, and a lack of production from the forward position was a reason. Durant, who struggled in a 121-101 loss at Indiana last season, shot 2 of 10 in the first half and Jeff Green shot 3 of 11 during the same period. The duo combined for 13 points, while Green did lead the Thunder with nine rebounds in the first two quarters. Each player finished stronger, with Durant scoring 19 points in the second half and overtime and Green scoring eight second-half points and finishing with 14 rebounds.

FANTASY SPOTLIGHT: Westbrook worried the Pacers before the game, and with reason. Pacers coach Jim O'Brien said a key to defending Oklahoma City was pressing Westbrook and Durant, and while Indiana was effective much of the game against Durant, Westbrook shot 13 of 24 from the field and 17 of 18 from the free-throw line. Westbrook also had eight assists, eight rebounds and a team-high three steals.

GOOD MOVE: Forward James Posey was a game-time decision for Indiana because of back injury. It turned out to be a good decision to play him. He entered the game late in the first quarter and made three of his first four 3-pointers early in the second quarter to help the Pacers turn a five-point deficit into a 33-27 lead with just under eight minutes remaining in the half.

NOTABLE: Thunder center Nenad Krstic missed the game with a sore back. "It's nothing too serious," Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. Serge Ibaka started in his place. The Thunder are 6-1 on the road this season with victories in their last five road games. . . . Indiana beat Oklahoma City 121-101 last season in Indianapolis in a game the Thunder never led and trailed by as many as 31. . . . Pacers point guard T.J. Ford (stomach virus) and forward Posey (upper back) played after being game-time decisions . . . It was Granger's third 30-point game of the season. . . . Pacers forward Mike Dunleavy had 12 points and 10 rebounds for his first double-double of the season.

UP NEXT: For the Thunder, Sunday @ Houston, Monday vs. New Orleans, Wednesday @ New Jersey. For the Pacers, Sunday @ Los Angeles Lakers, Tuesday @ Sacramento, Wednesday @ Utah.

- John Oehser,

Westbrook's 43 carries Thunder past Pacers in OT


Indianapolis, Nov. 26, 2010 - They held the Thunder to 39 percent shooting and kept Kevin Durant under wraps for most of the night.

They built leads of 14 in the third quarter, seven in the fourth and five with 90 seconds remaining.

The Pacers did just about everything they could to win, except, well, win.

With Russell Westbrook scoring a career-high 43 points and threatening a triple-double, the Thunder forced overtime by closing regulation with a 7-2 run in the final 1:25, then outscored the Pacers 8-3 in the final minute of the extra period to pull out a 110-106 victory Friday before 17,155 in Conseco Fieldhouse.

"Russell Westbrook was brilliant tonight," said Coach Jim O'Brien. "We tried different matchups, put Brandon (Rush) on him, trapped him, he was just too much.

"We played good enough defense on everybody else. Danny (Granger) did a good job on Durant but we didn't have what it took to stop (Westbrook)."

The loss snapped a two-game win streak for the Pacers (7-7), who head out on a tough four-game Western Conference road trip that begins Sunday in Los Angeles against the Lakers. The Thunder (11-5) improved to 6-1 on the road.

"We should've won the game in regulation"

Granger scored 30 and held Durant to 9-of-26 shooting in his last two visits to Conseco Fieldhouse, the Thunder's dynamic young scorer has shot 13-of-42. Granger scored 11 in the fourth quarter, including seven in a row as the Pacers took a 92-87 lead with 2:02 left.

But Westbrook scored on a drive to cut the lead to 94-93 and after T.J. Ford countered with a layup for the Pacers, Durant converted a driving three-point play, drawing a bump from Granger on his way to the basket, to tie it with 47 seconds left.

"We should've won the game in regulation," said Granger. "They made some big plays, sent it to overtime, then won it in overtime.

"We should've won that game. We were winning probably 46 of the 48 minutes (of regulation). Credit to them. We held them to 38 percent shooting but they made the ones they needed."

Darren Collison brought the crowd to its feet with a 360-degree, spinning, backward flip-in while drawing a foul, tying the game at 102-all with 1:21 remaining in overtime. He missed the free throw but Granger grabbed the offensive rebound and Brandon Rush draw a foul, making the second to give the Pacers a 103-102 lead with 1:07 remaining.

Durant then scored twice in a row while the Pacers came up empty. Trailing 106-103, their last good chance expired when Granger missed a 3-pointer from the top.

Late no-call helped Thunder protect lead

Westbrook made a pair of free throws to push the Thunder's lead to 108-103, but the drama wasn't quite done.

After making a 3-pointer with 4.6 seconds left, Dunleavy was knocked to the floor while pressuring Westbrook in the backcourt. No call was made, however, until Westbrook took the inbounds pass and headed upcourt and his two free throws sealed the verdict.

Just didnt get it done in the end," said Josh McRoberts. "We had some tough stretches there, didnt execute that well and we lost."

Roy Hibbert scored 19 with 10 rebounds for the Pacers but found himself swarmed by defenders late in the game and was ineffective down the stretch. McRoberts had 13 points and eight boards, Dunleavy 12 points and 10 boards and Collison 10 points with five assists.

Westbrook added eight rebounds and eight assists to his 43 points, 17 of which came from the free-throw line. Durant scored 25 with eight rebounds, Jeff Green 15 and Thabo Sefolosha 13.

Fast breaks

  • Magnum Rolle, the second-round acquisition who was the Pacers' final cut of the preseason, has been waived by the D-League Maine Red Claws after sustaining a knee injury that will keep him out an extended period of time. Rolle, the No. 3 overall pick in the D-League draft, averaged 7.5 points, 3.5 rebounds and 3.5 blocked shots in two games, both starts, with the Red Claws.
  • T.J. Ford (ill) and James Posey (strained muscle, upper back) were listed as game-time decisions after the morning shootaround but both played.
  • The game featured four sets of former college teammates: Collison and Westbrook (UCLA from 2006-08), Hibbert and Green (Georgetown from '04-07), Ford and Royal Ivey (Texas from '01-03) and Rush and Cole Aldrich (Kansas '07-08).