For the 16th time this season, the Oklahoma City Thunder erased a double-digit deficit to defeat the Indiana Pacers 107-99 on Wednesday night.
The Thunder got off to their best start in quite some time, and a big part of that early push was due to Steven Adams. After scoring a season-low 2 points against the Memphis Grizzlies on Monday, Adams scored 6 of the Thunder’s first 9 points, and he led OKC with 10 points in the opening quarter. Paul George added in 9 points of his own, and Russell Westbrook tallied a respectable line of 3 points, 4 assists, and 3 rebounds as the Thunder led 29-27 after the first period.
The second quarter saw more Steven Adams at the rim as he pushed his scoring total to 14 points–all while grabbing 8 rebounds–but the Thunder settled for three-point attempts, shooting just 4-17 (23.5%) for the half. Meanwhile, the Pacers were able to pull away behind a 7-13 (53.8%) effort from three to take a 54-45 lead over OKC into halftime.
The third quarter opened with an Indiana bucket to give the Pacers an 11-point lead, their largest of the night, but it did not stay there for long. From the 10:48 mark to the 3:57 mark of the period, Indiana did not score as OKC ran off 24 straight points to take a 14-point lead. The Pacers were finally able to find the bottom of the net, but the Thunder stayed in control, and at the end of the quarter, OKC led Indiana 76-69.
Paul George opened up the final frame with a three to extend the Thunder’s lead to double digits. The Pacers made multiple efforts to put together a comeback, but every time they would run off consecutive baskets, the Thunder would answer with big shot after big shot.
With 3:09 left in the game, OKC took a 97-85 lead, their largest of the quarter, but Indiana managed to stick around and even cut the deficit to 5 with 1:26 to play. Despite the Pacers’ best efforts, the Thunder was able to finish strong and come away with the 107-99 win in front of the home crowd.
Thunder Player of the Game
After scoring a season-low 2-points against the Memphis Grizzlies on Monday, Steven Adams was key to the Thunder’s win as he put up 25 points, his highest number since December 14th, on 11-14 (78.6%) from the floor. Adams also grabbed 12 rebounds, handed out 3 assists, and grabbed 2 steals. He hasn’t looked this good in quite some time, so perhaps the Thunder can get Adams more involved on the offensive end moving forward.
The Denver Dispute
The Thunder now turns their attention to the visiting Denver Nuggets for a Friday night matchup. The Nuggets are 3-0 against the Thunder so far this season, and though Denver already has the tiebreaker locked up, both teams are fighting for a better playoff spot, so Friday’s game is as important as they come. Tip-off is set for 7 PM and will be televised on Fox Sports Oklahoma. It will also be broadcast on the radio at WWLS 98.1 FM.
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