The Pacers (14-7) continued their winning ways against the Oklahoma City Thunder (8-12) on Wednesday night, sweeping the season series with a 107-100 win at Chesapeake energy Arena. It’s their first win on the road against the Thunder since November 20, 2016. Indiana has now won seven of their past eight contests. In addition, the win helped even Indiana’s road record to 5-5 on the season.
T.J Warren scored a game-high 24 points on 9-of-15 shooting. Domantas Sabonis notched his 16th double-double of the season with 17 points and 13 rebounds, while Doug McDermott added 14 off the bench, including nine in the fourth quarter. For the second consecutive game, seven Pacers scored in double figures.
The Blue & Gold had difficulty defending Thunder big man Steven Adams for the majority of the first half. The eight-year NBA veteran led all scorers in the first half with 14 points on a perfect 6-of-6 shooting. His hook shot with 29.5 seconds left in the second quarter clinched a 50-49 halftime lead for the Thunder. However, he was limited to just six points in the second half.
After playing a tight third quarter, Justin Holiday’s layup with 0.4 seconds remaining in the third quarter grabbed a 79-78 Pacers lead heading into the fourth. With 2:32 remaining in the fourth, Myles Turner checked in for Sabonis and drilled a clutch 3-pointer that put the Pacers ahead 98-96. Indiana then used the free throw line and tough defense down the stretch to seal the victory.
Adams scored 10 of the Thunder’s first 13 points, which put Indiana in an early first-quarter deficit. But midway through the first, he headed to the bench and Indiana took advantage of his absence. Myles Turner completed a 3-point play in the paint to grab the Blue & Gold’s first lead, 15-13, with 6:31 remaining in the frame. They soon managed to extend the lead to seven, 22-15, on Warren’s nifty spinning layup with 4:22 left in the first.
As Adams checked back in, the Thunder climbed right back into the game. His layup with 54.0 seconds remaining regained the lead for the Thunder, and Oklahoma City closed the first on a 14-4 run to grab a 29-26 lead as time expired.
After Indiana quickly tied the score on Justin Holiday’s 3-pointer out of the break, the Thunder’s primary sixth-man, Dennis Schroder, scored Oklahoma City’s first five points of the period to push the Thunder ahead once again.
But the Pacers did not fold. Matching the Thunder shot-for-shot, Indiana kept Oklahoma City within arm’s reach until they were able to strike.
Trailing 44-40, Jeremy Lamb drilled a 3-pointer, and Warren followed with a tough baseline jumper to grab the Pacers’ first lead of the second quarter, 45-44, with 5:00 left in the half. Indiana held on to the lead for nearly the rest of the quarter, but Adams made his presence known once again with his easy hook shot.
Sabonis and Warren combined to score the Pacers’ first nine points of the third as Indiana grabbed a 58-56 lead with 8:52 left in the frame. But the Thunder used Danilo Gallinari’s third 3-pointer of the quarter to push themselves back in front just 32 seconds later. With 6:48 remaining, the veteran sank his fourth 3-pointer of the quarter to widen the Thunder’s lead to 64-60.
Lamb’s fadeaway jumper with 4:40 left in the frame pulled the Pacers to within two, 68-66. But, Oklahoma City responded with five unanswered points to take their largest lead of the game, 73-66, with 3:24 to play. It appeared as if the Thunder were going to pull away. But Justin Holiday had other plans.
Trailing 78-72 with 1:07 remaining, Holiday scored five points of a 7-0 Pacers run that closed out the quarter, including his end-to-end layup that fell through the hoop with just 0.4 seconds left on the clock. His resilient play snagged a 79-78 lead heading into the final frame. The honors of igniting Indiana were then passed to Doug McDermott
After Sabonis connected on two free throws, the sharpshooter scored nine straight Pacers points, including a putback shot after snagging a tough offensive rebound in the paint that gave Indiana an 88-85 lead with 8:37 left to play.
Just over three minutes later, Warren’s running floater pushed the Pacers lead to 93-87, their largest since leading by seven in the early moments of the first quarter. But Oklahoma City did not go away quietly.
15-year NBA veteran Chris Paul nailed back-to-back fadeaway jumpers to trim Indiana’s lead to 93-91 with 4:40 remaining. The buckets forced Pacers head coach Nate McMillan to call a timeout.
Out of the timeout, Sabonis snagged two offensive rebounds en route to a tough bucket that pushed Indiana ahead by four. Unfortunately, the two-possession lead was short lived, as Shai Gilgeous-Alexander completed a 3-point play. With 2:45 remaining, Adams then pushed the Thunder back in front, 96-95. But the Blue & Gold responded in a huge way.
Due to foul trouble, Turner was subbed in for Sabonis. Immediately, Warren spotted Turner wide open on the left wing for the 3-pointer. With 2:32 left to play, Turner rose up and arced his shot. It sank without a doubt.
Brogdon and Warren then went a combined 3-of-4 from the free throw line to give Indiana a 101-96 lead with 1:31 remaining.
With under a minute to play, Indiana protected a 103-100 lead by playing lock-down defense along the perimeter. With the hot-handed Gallinari swarmed, the ball was kicked out to the less-accurate Terrance Ferguson. Ferguson missed the 3-pointer, and Warren grabbed the rebound. Warren then sank both free throws, and Justin Holiday then sealed the victory with a steal and a slam on the offensive end.
Inside The Numbers
Justin Holiday finished with 12 points, marking his third-straight game scoring in double figures while coming off the bench.
Indiana limited Chris Paul (15.7 points per game) to just four points on 2-of-9 shooting.
The Pacers committed just nine turnovers compared to Oklahoma City’s 13, marking the fourth time this season they’ve committed fewer than 10 turnovers in a game.
You Can Quote Me On That
"I have a lot of confidence (in Myles Turner). I see Myles hit that shot a lot. He's worked on that shot a lot. And when they close out on me, he was wide open for the shot, and I kicked it to him and he made it." - T.J. Warren
"We did a really good job of playing team basketball. Guys coming in and being ready. Try to play together and pretty much just try to find a way to get the win. That's about it." – Justin Holiday
"We're very versatile on both ends of the floor. We can stretch out the defense with a guy like Domantas, who's really good in the pocket and just finding us open players. We did a really good job of getting hot there. I think it starts with the defensive end and getting rebounds." – Doug McDermott
Stat of The Night
Seven of the nine Pacers players that played scored in double figures tonight.
- T.J. Warren has scored 20 or more points in nine games this season.
- Domantas Sabonis has scored in double figures in 19 of 21 games this season.
- With the win, the Pacers take the all-time series lead against the Thunder, 12-11.
- Indiana improves its all-time road record against Oklahoma City to 4-7.
The road trip continues Friday night in Detroit against the Pistons. Catch the game at 7:00 PM on FOX Sports Indiana and 93.5/107.5 FM The Fan.
After a five-game road trip, the Pacers will return home to host Paul George and the Los Angeles Clippers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Monday, Dec. 9 at 7:00 PM ET. Find Tickets »