Pacers vs Knicks

GAME RECAP: Pacers 108, Thunder 106

Domantas Sabonis scores 26 points off the bench and Wesley Matthews hits the game-winning putback with two-seconds left, as the Pacers come back from 19 down to spoil Paul George's homecoming and defe

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GAME RECAP: Pacers 108, Thunder 106

Domantas Sabonis scores 26 points off the bench and Wesley Matthews hits the game-winning putback with two-seconds left, as the Pacers come back from 19 down to spoil Paul George's homecoming and defe
Mar 14, 2019  |  00:00

Matthews Gets the Clutch Putback

March 14, 2019: Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Indiana Pacers - Highlights
Mar 14, 2019  |  04:26

Postgame Wrap Up: Pacers-Thunder - March 14, 2019

March 14, 2019 - Pacers rally back from a 19 point deficit and hit a game-winning shot by Wesley Matthews to win 108-106 against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Mar 14, 2019  |  01:24

Postgame: Pacers Locker Room - March 14, 2019

March 14, 2019 - Pacers players Darren Collison, Wesley Matthews, Domantas Sabonis, Myles Turner, and Thaddeus Young discussed Indiana's 108-106 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
Mar 14, 2019  |  05:04

Postgame: Nate McMillan Press Conference - March 14, 2019

March 14, 2019 - Pacers head coach Nate McMillan spoke to the media following Indiana's 108-106 incredible comeback win over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse before the teams goes out on the road.
Mar 14, 2019  |  06:39

Sabonis Puts on a Clinic Down Low

March 14, 2019: Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Indiana Pacers - Highlights
Mar 14, 2019  |  03:49

Turner Dunks to Give Pacers the Lead

March 14, 2019: Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Indiana Pacers - Highlights
Mar 14, 2019  |  03:25

Collison Turns the Corner and Gets the Layup

March 14, 2019: Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Indiana Pacers - Highlights
Mar 14, 2019  |  03:03

Joseph Banks It From Halfcourt

March 14, 2019: Cory Joseph banks it in from halfcourt to beat the third quarter buzzer.
Mar 14, 2019  |  02:32

Turner's Dunk Finishes the Fastbreak

March 14, 2019: The Pacers convert on the fastbreak, with Myles Turner getting a wide-open dunk.
Mar 14, 2019  |  02:35

Collison Steals, Bogdanovic Scores

March 14, 2019: Darren Collison gets the steal and Bojan Bogdanovic hits the fastbreak layup.
Mar 14, 2019  |  02:38

Bogey With the Quick Bounce Pass to Turner

March 14, 2019: Bojan Bogdanovic slips the quick bounce pass to Myles Turner for the dunk.
Mar 14, 2019  |  02:23

Matthews Hits the Rainbow Finger Roll

March 14, 2019: Wesley Matthews drives and lofts the finger roll over the defense and in.
Mar 14, 2019  |  02:29

Sabonis Fakes the Handoff for the Layup

March 14, 2019: Domantas Sabonis fakes the handoff and drives it all the way to the rim.
Mar 14, 2019  |  02:34

Domas Goes to Work

March 14, 2019: Domantas Sabonis sets up on the block and hits the layup through contact.
Mar 14, 2019  |  02:20

DC Finds Bogey on the Run

March 14, 2019: Darren Collison gets out on the break and makes the nice pass to Bojan Bogdanovic for the 3-pointer.
Mar 14, 2019  |  02:34

Game Rewind: Pacers 108, Thunder 106

Thursday, March 14, 2019 at 7:00 PM ET at Bankers Life Fieldhouse
by Greg Rappaport
Pacers.com Writer
@Greg_Rappaport

Game Recap

With the game on the line, Bojan Bogdanovic was able to shake free of Paul George and put up what would be a game-winning shot if it fell.

Although the attempt sailed long, it dropped into the hands of a hard-charging Wesley Matthews, whose putback bucket gave Indiana a 108-106 victory over the Thunder in what was one of the most emotionally charged wins of the season.

"I saw an opportunity to crash and I took it," said Matthews of his late-game heroics.

The Pacers (44-25) were on the brink when Paul George canned a 3-pointer from the corner to put the Thunder up 99-90, but a flurry of Pacers offense was on the way.

PLAYOFF PICTURE: Track the Pacers' Playoff Push »

The Blue & Gold responded with an 8-0 run, featuring threes from Matthews and Bogdanovic and a layup from Darren Collison to force a Thunder (42-27) timeout with 4:04 remaining in the game and the Pacers trailing by one.

Following a Flagrant 1 foul on Dennis Schroder, a pair of free throws by Domantas Sabonis, a slam from Myles Turner, and a layup from Bogdanovic put the Pacers ahead 104-101 with 2:13 remaining.

On the other end, however, George delivered a response, draining his sixth 3-pointer of the night to knot the game at 104 as he continued to add to his game-high 36 points.

Bogdanovic tried to answer with a deep three of his own, but it caromed off the rim and was recovered by the Thunder, who used a pair of free throws from George to retake the lead.

Needing a bucket to tie things up, the Pacers went back to Sabonis on the low post, who quickly beat his man and got to the rim, once again tying things at 106.

Just as it seemed like the Thunder might be in control for the last shot, Darren Collison zipped in to intercept a pass from George, giving the Pacers possession with 23.2 on the game clock and 22 on the shot clock.

The Pacers quickly got the ball to Bogdanovic on the inbounds, who went to work against George. Bogdanovic was able to shake free of George, but his shot sailed wide as Matthews crept into the picture. In his signature moment as a Pacer thus far, Matthews raced down the baseline and soared to the rim to tip it up and in, putting Indiana ahead 108-106 with 1.8 seconds remaining.

"He's one of our best defenders out there, always hustling," Sabonis said of Matthews, whose defense forced George to step out of bounds in the final minute. "He wore down a lot of their All-Stars, did a great job all night, and to stick with it and come up with that play was big time."

The Thunder managed to inbound it to Westbrook — who notched a 19-point, 14-rebound, 11-assist triple-double — but his 3-point attempt was off the mark as Indiana fans roared with excitement at the emotional victory.

"Sometimes it takes 48 minutes to win a game and we fought for 48 minutes," said Pacers Head Coach Nate McMillan from the podium after the win.

To begin the game, Indiana's defense was strong, only allowing the Thunder to make three of their first 10 shots from the field. On offense, however, the Pacers were unable to get it going early, making just 4-of-16 shots to start the game and falling behind 20-12. A bucket from Thad Young underneath and an and-one from Collison helped narrow the gap, but the Thunder still led 29-22 by the end of the first quarter.

Sabonis opened up the second quarter strong with an and-one, but George quickly caught fire for the Thunder, scoring OKC's first 10 points of the frame as the visitors jumped ahead by 10.

After a 3-pointer from Abdel Nader put the Thunder up 45-30, Indiana offense finally began to click, with Bogdanovic, Collison, and Sabonis combining for six unanswered points.

But despite the brief Pacers run, the Thunder managed to close the half strong, getting back-to-back scores from Steven Adams to give OKC a 63-50 lead at the break.

With the third quarter underway, it seemed as if the game may be slipping away from the Pacers, as an and-one from George brought OKC's lead to a sizable 19 points.

Indiana spent the remainder of the quarter digging out of the hole, eventually finding a soft spot in the Thunder's defense as Sabonis — who racked up a team-best 26 points — continued to hammer away at the low post when guarded by the smaller Markieff Morris.

In the closing minutes of the quarter, Domas scored six straight for the Pacers, getting the deficit back down to single digits.

While George was able to respond with free throws, Cory Joseph electrified the Fieldhouse with a halfcourt heave to close the quarter, bringing the score to an 88-81 Thunder lead entering the final quarter.

The fourth quarter began with the building near crescendo as the fans tried to will the Pacers back into the game, but neither unit could find its offense as the teams combined for just 6 points in the first 3:45 before Pacers head coach Nate McMillan signaled for a timeout.

Out of the timeout, Indiana's offense still couldn't seem to hit its stride, with the Thunder threatening to put the game out of reach as George connected on a triple to put the Thunder up nine.

But it was then that the Pacers responded, reeling off eight unanswered points to vault back into the game, eventually setting the stage for Matthews' game-winning putback.

"It was a good win for us. We definitely needed this momentum," said Darren Collison at his locker. "It just seemed like every game we've been getting close against these teams and tonight we finally got to pull away."

Myles Turner, Domantas Sabonis

Photo Credit: NBAE/Getty Images

Inside the Numbers

Indiana was able to outscore the Thunder at the basket, scoring 58 points in the paint compared to 38 for the Thunder.

The Pacers got to the free throw line 32 times, making 27 of them. Oklahoma City had 20 trips to the line and connected on 16.

All five Pacers starters reached double-figure scoring but the team was led by 26 points from Domantas Sabonis off the bench.

You Can Quote Me On That

"I got Thad (Young) out early in that third quarter, brought him back and then had him in the game in the fourth quarter. I told him I was going to give him a two-minute breather when I brought Myles (Turner) into the game, but Domas was playing so well. Thad said let him go, don't mess with him. That is what we have to be about, supporting your teammates and encouraging your teammates. When guys have a rhythm, let them go and support that." -Pacers Head Coach Nate McMillan

"We knew we still had a lot of time. When coach called timeout there were twenty minutes left in the game. As a second unit, we just said, 'Let's do our job, let's bring it down to ten or as close as we can and let the first unit finish it out.' Then all the fans brought the energy so it just got us going." -Domantas Sabonis

"I couldn't be any more happy with the success that's going on here (in Indiana) with Nate keeping this team competitive with the loss of Vic (Oladipo) being hurt. I'm happy. I'm genuinely happy that the Pacers are still a force in the East and a playoff team." -Thunder forward Paul George

Stat of the Night

After being outscored in both of the first two quarters, Indiana rallied during the second half, outscoring the Thunder 58-43.

Noteworthy

  • Thunder forward Steven Adams received a technical foul with 2:58 remaining in the second quarter. Pacers head coach Nate McMillan received one with 11:33 remaining in the third quarter.
  • Guard Tyreke Evans missed his second straight game (personal reasons).
  • Domantas Sabonis, who led the team with 26 points, was 7-of-12 from the field and 12-of-13 from the free throw line.

Up Next

The Pacers open up their four-game west coast road trip with a matchup against Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets on Saturday, March 16 at 9:00 PM ET.

Tickets

Following their road trip, Indiana returns home to face the Denver Nuggets on Sunday, March 24 at 5:00 PM ET. Find Tickets »

Special Offer - Pacers Win

Jack's Donuts: Visit your local Jack's Donuts the day after a Pacers victory and mention the Pacers win to receive a free twelve ounce coffee with any purchase. Visit JacksDonuts.com to find the Jack's Donuts nearest you.

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