Pacers vs Thunder

GAME RECAP: Thunder 100, Pacers 95

Steven Adams scores 23 points with 13 rebounds and Paul George adds 12 points in his return to Indiana as the Thunder take it, 100-95.

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GAME RECAP: Thunder 100, Pacers 95

Steven Adams scores 23 points with 13 rebounds and Paul George adds 12 points in his return to Indiana as the Thunder take it, 100-95.
Dec 13, 2017  |  02:47

Postgame: Pacers Locker Room - Dec. 13, 2017

December 13, 2017 - Pacers players Victor Oladipo, Darren Collison, and Thaddeus Young discussed Indiana's 100-95 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
Dec 13, 2017  |  03:33

Postgame: Paul George Press Conference - Dec. 13, 2017

December 13, 2017 - Paul George speaks about his return to Indiana after the Thunder came away with a close victory against the Pacers.
Dec 13, 2017  |  06:09

Turner Glides For The Flush

December 13, 2017: Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Indiana Pacers - Highlights
Dec 13, 2017  |  02:37

Oladipo With The Nifty Finish

December 13, 2017: Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Indiana Pacers - Highlights
Dec 13, 2017  |  02:11

Postgame: McMillan Press Conference - Dec. 13, 2017

Dec. 13, 2017 - Pacers head coach Nate McMillan speaks with the media following Indiana's 100-95 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
Dec 13, 2017  |  08:53

Lance Ends the First

December 13, 2017: Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Indiana Pacers - Highlights
Dec 13, 2017  |  01:43

Turner Denies Carmelo

Myles Turner gets the big block on Carmelo Anthony at the rim.
Dec 13, 2017  |  00:15

Bojan Drops a Dime

December 13, 2017: Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Indiana Pacers - Highlights
Dec 13, 2017  |  00:58

Bojan Steal Leads to Fastbreak

December 13, 2017: Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Indiana Pacers - Highlights
Dec 13, 2017  |  00:28

Tony Dungy On Best Indy Memories

December 13, 2017 - Former Indianapolis Colts head coach Tony Dungy spoke with Pacers.com's Eddie White about his best Indianapolis memories and always feeling back home again in Indiana.
Dec 13, 2017  |  01:38

Game Rewind: Pacers 95, Thunder 100

Wednesday, December 13, 2017 at 7:00 PM ET at Bankers Life Fieldhouse
by Greg Rappaport
Pacers.com Writer
@Greg_Rappaport

Game Recap

Despite trailing by 11 points with 5:14 remaining, the Pacers pulled the game back within reach, needing a pair of free throws from Thaddeus Young to tie things up. Young, however, split the free throws as the Thunder held their one-point edge en route to the 100-95 Oklahoma City victory at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

Much of the focus on the game was trained on the return of former Pacers player Paul George, who was traded to the Thunder over the summer in exchange for Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis.

From the moment George first touched the ball, the boos were deafening. George struggled for much of the night, going 3-of-14 from the field and turning the ball over four times.

For the Pacers, Oladipo was unable to find his offense as well, finishing his night 9-of-26 and making just 1-of-9 from long range.

"They just did a great job defensively, just mixing it up, crowding, we couldn't get downhill…trapping, just mixing it up," Oladipo explained. "Showing us a whole bunch of different stuff, switching, showing, they just did a great job defensively all together as a team. Unfortunately, we couldn't figure it out down the stretch tonight."

The loss to the Thunder (13-14) snapped what had been a four-game winning streak for Indiana.

Despite the Pacers (16-12) entering the fourth quarter trailing by just four points, Indiana was unable to generate a rally until the final three minutes of the game when Oladipo and Bojan Bogdanovic combined for a 9-3 run to make it 95-90.

After a Westbrook foul shot and an Oladipo twisting layup, the Pacers cut it down to a one possession game when Oladipo broke through the perimeter once more and got to the rim for his team-high 19th point of the night.

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With 40.8 seconds one the clock and trailing by just two points, Thaddeus Young barreled to the basket, but was whistled for a charge, giving possession back to OKC — or so the Thunder thought. After a review, the call was overturned, sending Young to the foul line with a chance to tie the game.

Young split the free throws, giving the ball back to OKC with under a minute left and the Pacers trailing by one.

As Westbrook dribbled up the court, chants of "De-Fense" pulsed through The Fieldhouse. Although Indiana was able to defend the initial shot, Alex Abrines was able to throw in an offensive rebound to put the Thunder up 98-95 with 15.2 seconds remaining.

On offense, the Pacers were unable to successfully get the inbounds play in, fouling George, who iced the game with a pair of free throws.

"They played their game, this is what they do, they offensive rebound, they turn you over and they score off of that," said Pacers head coach Nate McMillan. "All three of those things we knew we had to be good at, they won. So, we didn't execute tonight. Again, just shows us where we are."

In the first quarter, OKC led briefly when Russell Westbrook connected on a pull-up, but then the Pacers began to roll, getting back-to-back buckets down low from Thaddeus Young, followed by a 3-pointer by Oladipo that was delivered on a whip-around pass by Lance Stephenson. The bucket brought the crowd to its feet as the Thunder burned a timeout with 3:51 remaining in the opening quarter and the Pacers leading 21-16.

While the Thunder's bench unit began to chip away at the advantage, Stephenson gave Indiana an extra edge at the whistle, drilling a jumper as the first-quarter buzzer sounded over the outstretched arms of rookie Terrance Ferguson to give the Pacers a 27-22 lead after 12 minutes.

To open the second frame, OKC's bench unit put together a quick run, scoring seven unanswered points and putting the Thunder back up 29-27 before Pacers head coach Nate McMillan called for a timeout.

Out of the timeout, the Pacers were able to briefly regain the lead with a roaring 9-0 run. With OKC's starters back in the game, however, critical 3-pointers from Carmelo Anthony and George in the final three minutes of the half helped the Thunder build a 51-46 halftime lead.

In the second half, Indiana came out of the locker room screaming, with Bogdanovic reeling off a personal 7-0 run, the last bucket of which came on a two-handed dunk in transition to put the Pacers up four.

Moments later, however, the Thunder rallied back, getting 3-pointers from Abrines and George to cap a 9-2 OKC run, giving the visitors a 65-63 lead with 5:15 remaining in the third frame.

As the buzzer sounded to end the quarter, the Pacers trailed Oklahoma City by four, outscoring the Thunder 25-22 in the third and setting up the pulse-pounding finish at The Fieldhouse.

"Yeah, we had a chance to win that game still. I'm not surprised," said Oladipo. "We've had a lot of adversity in this room; but we just keep fighting, keep playing. Obviously, I could have played better. I would have liked to have played better; but it happens. It's just one game. I have to learn from it and get better and I look forward to Friday."

You Can Quote Me On That

"One of our goals is to win the free throw line, be aggressive, get to the basket. Tonight, they won that game. We knew that those guys, (Russell) Westbrook, (Carmelo) Anthony and Paul (George) all draw fouls, we didn't do that tonight. They turned us over in our pick and rolls, and I thought we settled at times, we didn't have the ball movement early in the game and I thought that kind of carried over into the second half where everything was stagnant, everything was very hard, we weren't getting any clean looks. A couple times in the first half we did, we missed the shots, but we didn't stay with the good ball movement, only 18 assists tonight." -Pacers head coach Nate McMillan

"I know (George) did a good job on me defensively. It was the first time I've had a defender like that guard me since I've been on this team. They were just trying to deny me, and he can move his feet. It was something new for me. I'll be ready if there's anybody else like that out there, so I just have to continue to learn from that and continue to get better. We still gave ourselves a chance to win. It was a tough loss for us; but again, it's only one game. We just have to keep getting better." -Victor Oladipo

"I'm glad the circus is over with, now everybody can move on. I understood what the environment was going to be coming into to tonight. My teammates did a great job of helping me battle this one tonight." -Thunder forward Paul George

Inside the Numbers

The Pacers were outrebounded on the offensive glass 17-11.

Thaddeus Young had a season-best seven steals on the night.

The Thunder's trio of Westbrook, Anthony and George combined to go just 10-of-45 from the field.

Noteworthy

  • Westbrook posted a triple-double with 10 points, 12 assists, and 17 rebounds
  • The Pacers were outshot badly at at the free throw line. OKC had 24 free throw attempts compared to just six from Indiana
  • Both players that were initially listed as questionable (Cory Joseph, Darren Collison) played
  • Each team had 14 turnovers

Stat of the Night

Indiana racked up under 20 assists for just the eighth time this season, finishing with 18. The Pacers have only had fewer than 18 assists on two occasions this season, once of which was their October 25th meeting with the Thunder in Oklahoma City, where the Pacers had a season-low 13.

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