Pacers vs Thunder

Thunder vs. Pacers

Russell Westbrook records a career-high 54 points but C.J. Miles' 30 points and 10 rebounds leads the Pacers over the Thunder.

Postgame 150414

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Thunder vs. Pacers

Russell Westbrook records a career-high 54 points but C.J. Miles' 30 points and 10 rebounds leads the Pacers over the Thunder.
Apr 12, 2015  |  00:00

Postgame: Pacers-Thunder Wrap Up 150412

April 12, 2015: Pacers.com's Larra Overton wraps up the Pacers' fifth straight win after beating the Thunder 116-104 on Sunday night.
Apr 12, 2015  |  01:59

Postgame: Pacers Locker Room 150412

The Indiana Pacers react to their 116-104 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Sunday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
Apr 12, 2015  |  02:03

Postgame: Vogel Press Conference 150412

April 12, 2015: After Sunday evening's 116-104 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder, Pacers coach Frank Vogel reacted to Russell Westbrook's 54-point performance and his team's determination in the winning effort.
Apr 12, 2015  |  03:00

Postgame: Thunder Locker Room 150412

April 12, 2015 - Thunder coach Scott Brooks, and players Andre Roberson and Russell Westbrook discuss their tough 116-104 loss to the Pacers on Sunday night.
Apr 12, 2015  |  01:27

Miles' Season-High 30

C.J. Miles talks postgame about his season-high 30 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Pacers over the Thunder.
Apr 12, 2015  |  00:00

Hill's Circus Shot

George Hill splits the defense with a great spin move, draws the foul and somehow gets the off-balanced shot to fall.
Apr 12, 2015  |  00:00

George Beats the Buzzer

Paul George banks in the 3-pointer to beat the third quarter buzzer.
Apr 12, 2015  |  00:00

George Throws Down

Paul George throws down a one-handed jam off the turnover at the other end.
Apr 12, 2015  |  00:00

Hill Goes the Distance

Solomon HIll picks up the loose ball and goes all the way for the layup.
Apr 12, 2015  |  00:00

Kyle Macy at Pacers vs Thunder Game

April 12, 2015: Pacers.com's Larra Overton catches up with former Pacers player Kyle Macy at the Pacers-Thunder game on Sunday night.
Apr 12, 2015  |  02:06

Game Rewind: Pacers 116, Thunder 104

Sunday, April 12, 2015 at 6:00 PM ET at Bankers Life Fieldhouse
by Wheat Hotchkiss
Pacers.com Writer/Editor
@Wheat_Hotchkiss






Game Recap

The Pacers' playoff hopes are alive and well after Indiana (37-43) withstood an offensive onslaught from Russell Westbrook and knocked off the Oklahoma City Thunder (43-37) on Sunday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, 116-104. Indiana has now won five straight games and has moved into a tie with Brooklyn for eighth place in the Eastern Conference, though the Nets own the the head-to-head tiebreaker for the final playoff spot in the conference.

"These guys have really stayed in the fight, had a great attitude and a great perspective to grind through the tough spots," Pacers head coach Frank Vogel said after the win. "You get in the playoffs, you’ve got a chance to go somewhere. We’re about winning here. We want to win every game."

RELATED: Playoff Picture (Latest Standings and More) »

Indiana won despite Westbrook, who is battling with former teammate James Harden for the NBA scoring title, going off for a career-high 54 points, nine rebounds, and eight assists. Oklahoma City remains tied with New Orleans, who lost to Houston on Sunday, for eighth place in the West, though the Pelicans own the tiebreaker over the Thunder.

Westbrook had it going early on Sunday, scoring 22 points in the first quarter on 9-of-14 shooting. But the Pacers weren't too shabby themselves, shooting 54.8 percent from the field in the first half to take a five-point lead into the locker room.

Indiana led for the entire second half until midway through the fourth quarter, when Westbrook, the Thunder's All-Star point guard, reeled off seven straight points, tying the score at 88 on a breakaway dunk with 7:54 to play.

That tie was shortlived, however, as Rodney Stuckey connected on a 3-pointer from the left corner just 17 seconds later to put the Pacers back in front. Indiana wound up scoring 12 unanswered points, aided by Westbrook's 16th technical foul of the season — a foul that will result in him being suspended for tomorrow's game against Portland — and a three-point play by George Hill.

But Westbrook had a little more left in the tank. He scored nine straight points for the Thunder to cut their deficit to 102-99 with 3:12 to play.

George Hill gave the home team a little breathing room a few possessions later, throwing a slick behind-the-back pass to Roy Hibbert for an uncontested slam with 1:48 to play. Hill then knocked down a pair of free throws on Indiana's next offensive possession, but Westbrook answered with another 3-pointer to make it a one possession game.

Hill then bounced in a floater with 1:04 remaining and C.J. Miles buried his sixth 3-pointer of the night 16 seconds later to seal the victory.

"Every play is a big play," Miles said of the atmosphere on Sunday. "Everybody is stepping up and making big plays on both sides. When everything is big, you have to lock in and just find ways to win games."

Miles led Indiana with 30 points and 10 rebounds. "3-J" was 6-for-8 from 3-point range on the evening. Hill added 19 points and seven assists, while Hibbert recorded his 18th double-double of the season, finishing with 17 points and 10 boards.

In his fourth game of the season, Paul George played 14:09 off the bench, tallying eight points and three rebounds on 3-of-9 shooting. George did, however, throw down his first two dunks of the season and banked in a 3-pointer at the buzzer at the end of the third quarter.

Westbrook finished 21-for-43 from the field and 5-for-15 from 3-point range. Dion Waiters added 16 points while Enes Kanter chipped in 13 for Oklahoma City.

"Westbrook is one of the unbelievable talents in this league," Pacers forward David West said after the win. "So we knew it was going to be a tall task. He got going early but I don’t think we ever backed down. We know he’s a great player and is going to get his, I thought we just did a good job of limiting the rest of those guys."

The Pacers return to the floor on Tuesday night, when they'll host the Washington Wizards in the final home game of the regular season at 8:00 PM ET.

Inside the Numbers

Miles' double-double was his first of the season. He matched a career high with 10 rebounds, a feat he previously accomplished at San Antonio while a member of the Utah Jazz on Nov. 21, 2008. Miles' 30 points tied his season high, set back on Dec. 10 against the Clippers.

Led by Miles, the Pacers went 10-for-20 from 3-point range on the night and have now hit 10 or more 3-pointers in six of their last nine games.

Westbrook's 54 points were the third-most by an NBA player this season. Cleveland point guard Kyrie Irving has scored 57 and 55 earlier this year. Westbrook also tied injured teammate Kevin Durant's franchise record for most points in a game.

Sunday's game was the fifth time this season Indiana allowed an individual player to score 40 or more points. The Pacers were 0-4 in those previous four contests, but they found a way to grind out the win on Sunday.

You Can Quote Me On That

"That’s not fun knowing that no matter how good we’re playing, we’re still depending on someone else. The biggest thing is give ourselves a chance. If we don’t give ourselves a chance, it would definitely not be fun. I’m just enjoying the moment with these guys, playing hard, and trying to give ourselves a chance." -Miles

"He was the guy making all the plays on the offensive end and battling Westbrook on the defensive end. He was making play after play after play." -Vogel on George Hill

"It all comes down to who's going to make the most plays down the stretch. We got some great stops, made some great plays, and the rest was history." -George Hill

"We made some good runs at them and were able to cut it down but we were never able to get over the hump. They made some tough shots." -Westbrook

"You can look at the shots. He probably took a handful too many. A lot of them were attacks and layups. Twice at the end we made two comebacks with his aggressive play. Russell leaves everything on the floor. He’s not a perfect player nor is any player in this league. But he plays with perfect energy every night, so that’s what we look at." -Thunder head coach Scott Brooks on Westbrook taking 43 shots

Stat of the Game

The Pacers weren't great from the foul line, shooting 62.9 percent on the night, but the Thunder were abysmal at the charity stripe. OKC made just 11-of-28 free throws — 39.3 percent. That's the worst team free throw percentage by a Pacers' opponent this season and the worst single-game percentage by the Thunder in franchise history.

Steven Adams (0-for-6) and Dion Waiters (0-for-4) were the primary culprits, although even Westbrook missed four of his 11 foul shots.

Noteworthy

  • The Pacers will finish the regular season with an 8-1 record on Sundays, far and away their best day of the week.
  • Oklahoma City still leads the all-time series with Indiana 47-34, but the Pacers are now 24-17 against the Thunder in Indianapolis.

Up Next

The Pacers host John Wall and the Washington Wizards on Tuesday for Fan Appreciation Night. Tipoff is scheduled for 8:00 PM ET. Find Tickets »

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