The Oklahoma City Thunder dominated the fourth quarter to beat the Indiana Pacers 97-75 last night in Indiana.
The Thunder led five after three quarters and then outscored the Pacers 25-8 in the final frame.
The Thunder did this despite playing a back-to-back, having beaten the San Antonio Spurs at home the night before.
Three-point shooting and rebounding was the big difference last night. The Thunder had six more offensive rebounds than the Pacers and Indiana shot just 2-for-21 from downtown.
The Pacers, who came into the game number one in the NBA in defense, allowed the Thunder to shoot 47.4 percent from the field for the game.
Here are the Game Grades:
Kevin Durant – 34 minutes, 34 points, 9 rebounds, 1 assist – A
Durant got a little more rest than usual last night after scoring just two points in the first quarter. When he checked back in, he dominated the rest of the game. Durant wasn’t the distributor he’s tried to become this season last night. He was a bonafide scorer making big shot after big shot. Every shot he made seemed demoralizing for the Pacers as he shut the door on any hopes they had for a win.
Russell Westbrook – 34 minutes, 24 points, 9 assists, 7 rebounds – A
Westbrook got off to a great start scoring at will in the first quarter. He got half of his points in that quarter and then did a little bit of everything else the rest of the game. Westbrook’s ability to easily penetrate the Indiana defense took them out of their element and paved the way to a Thunder victory.
Serge Ibaka – 28 minutes, 12 points, 7 rebounds, 1 block – B
Ibaka was quietly solid last night which is a sign that he has progressed a lot this season. This stat line is no big deal for him anymore. He hit some really tough long twos in the first quarter which really helped the Thunder to get out to such a great start.
Kevin Martin – 26 minutes, 9 points, 2 assists, 2 rebounds – C
Martin wasn’t as bad as his stat line suggests last night. He was aggressive and seemed to score more than he did, which means he hit some memorable shots. He still has a long way to go to become the solid playoff performer that the Thunder need him to be.
Kendrick Perkins – 27 minutes, 4 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assist – C
Perkins’ only job was shutting down Roy Hibbert, who ended up being really the only Pacer to have a good game with 22 points and eight rebounds. Perkins didn’t feel like a problem or anything though.
Thabo Sefolosha – 23 minutes, 3 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists – B
You like to see Sefolosha score a little bit more but he was occupied checking Paul George for most of the game and shutting him down. George finished with eight points on 3-of-11 shooting. Thabo had a lot to do with that.
Nick Collison – 19 minutes, 6 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist – B
Collison was his usual solid self. He actually missed a few shots around the rim that he usually doesn’t which was kind of weird to see.
Reggie Jackson – 18 minutes, 2 points, 5 rebounds, 1 block – B-
Jackson only shot 1-for-4 from the field but he always brings great defensive and rebounding to the floor. He’s definitely dropped off a little bit in the past few weeks though, hopefully he gets back to where he was by playoff time.
Derek Fisher – 8 minutes, 2 points – C
Fisher barely played presumably because the game was a back-to-back and he is so old.
Hasheem Thabeet – 18 minutes, 1 point, 4 rebounds, 1 block – C+
You have to love Thabeet’s energy that he played with last night. Whenever he gets in there, he seems to always know his role and he looks comfortable. You can’t ask for much more from him.
Scott Brooks – A
I liked Brooks resting Durant a little more and you have to love him barely playing Fisher. Giving Thabeet a lot of burn ended up being a good move too.