Culture of Hoops

Pacers Falter Late at Home Against Thunder

Image courtesy of Keith Allison/Flickr.

Image courtesy of Keith Allison/Flickr.

The Indiana Pacers, going for the season sweep of the Oklahoma City Thunder, fell short in the fourth quarter at home on Saturday. Paul George scored 45 points (his career-high at Bankers Life), but the combined powers of Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant were too much to overcome.

Indiana jumped out to an early double-digit lead, but the Thunder fought back to make it a one possession game after the first quarter. OKC continued their fight in the second, taking a 10-point lead into halftime. The third was dominated by the Pacers. OKC found their lead at just one point heading into the fourth.

The Pacers were able to take the lead in the fourth quarter, but cold shooting and poor game management led to game slipping through their fingers. Kevin Durant scored 33 points, including several huge shots late in the fourth. Paul George hit a four-point play with one minute remaining to cut the lead to four. After a flurry of free throws, PG13 had a chance to tie the game with a three. OKC switched the play, and Paul George launched a contested three with Steven Adams all over him. Durant then iced the game with a free throw.

Russell Westbrook had his 14th triple-double of the season. He leads the league, and has the most triple-doubles in a season since 1988. Paul George, Kevin Durant, and Russell Westbrook combined for 92 points, 31 rebounds, and 26 assists. The Thunder will continue their season with a home matchup against Houston. Indiana welcomes the 76ers on Monday night. The loss drops the Pacers record to 36-33, good for 7th in the East.

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