This may have been the most impressive win of the year for the Oklahoma City Thunder. Coming off of a great win over the Spurs last night the Thunder faced one of the toughest and best teams in the east tonight against the Pacers. Well they not only beat them, but they beat them pretty easily. Led by Kevin Durant and his 34 points the Thunder handled the Pacers and came out with the best record in the west.
Early in the game the Pacers were hanging around because of their great size inside. Roy Hibbert and David West combined for 39 points and 13 rebounds and in the third quarter they made a run at the Thunder behind these two. However I was really impressed with the Thunder’s adjustments down low later in the game. Serge Ibaka and Kendrick Perkins both played well down the stretch for OKC.
Offensively it was the Kevin Durant show for the Thunder. We really haven’t seen this KD in a long time. He was hitting shots from all over the floor, and they weren’t easy shots either. More importantly, he closed the deal for OKC. He took over the fourth quarter, and it is really something special to see something like that happen. The Thunder outscored the Pacers 25-8 in the fourth quarter and Durant had 15 of those points. The Pacers had absolutely no answer for KD, and that is what makes this team so special. They can just give the ball to Durant and he can finish the game for them.
Russell Westbrook contributed solidly as well, as he finished with 24 points 9 assists and 7 rebounds. Russ had 12 points in the first quarter and that really set the tone for OKC. Kevin Martin had a very quiet game, as he only had 9 points on 3-7 shooting. If Martin’s “no show” games continue, then the Thunder may have a tough time in the playoffs, and specifically against the Heat. Serge Ibaka hit quite a few deep jumpers early in the game as he finished with 12 points and 7 rebounds. Offensive rebounding was also huge for the Thunder in this game as they finished with 15 total offensive boards. That is really a crazy stat considering that the Pacers are one of the biggest teams in the league, and also one of the best rebounding teams in the league. If the Thunder can continue to hit the boards like this, then they will be tough to stop in this years playoffs.
Overall, I though this game was huge for OKC. It showed that they are tough enough to beat these “big” “bad” teams in the east, and as of right now, they now have the top seed in the west. They were also on the back end of a back to back and that makes this win even more impressive.
Player of the Game: This has to be KD. He closed the game out for the Thunder and he was lights out on the offensive end as he finished with 34 points on 13-21 shooting.