Player Grades: Thunder cruise past Pacers in team effort

Luguentz Dort #5 of the Oklahoma City Thunder (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Luguentz Dort #5 of the Oklahoma City Thunder (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /
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The OKC Thunder extended its win streak to four games with a controlling victory over the Indiana Pacers. OKC set a franchise record with 41 assists as team basketball was the key to success against Indy.

The OKC Thunder dominate the Pacers 126-106 behind 20-point performances from Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Luguentz Dort, and Isaiah Joe.

The Thunder have had a tendency to start games out slowly. However, OKC exploded in the first quarter, jumping out to a 17-1 run to start the game. They made the first six shots they took and the Pacers looked helpless without their star guard Tyrese Haliburton.

Oklahoma City was blowing them out of the water, but the offense got very sloppy toward the end of the first quarter. The Thunder would go scoreless for over four minutes to start the second quarter and the Pacers nearly erased their deficit, bringing the game within single digits.

However, Isaiah Joe would provide the perfect spark at the perfect time to resurrect the OKC offense. Indiana switched to a zone defense, which was torn apart by offensive execution. Kenrich Williams would get the ball in the high post as Dort would cut the backdoor on the opposite side of the floor, leaving him with an easy layup.

That simple offensive scheme made the Thunder offense nearly unstoppable. Dort dropped 22 points on the night and Kenny Hustle set a new career-high with 10 assists, eight of which came in the first half.

The third quarter was all Thunder, with the ball movement finding open shooters and Gilgeous-Alexander finally getting some shots to fall in his favor. OKC scored 42 points in a purely dominant third quarter.

From there the Thunder maintained the lead and coasted to the win. Oklahoma City commanded the game from start to finish, leading the Pacers for the entirety of the game.

100. 126. 149. Final. 106

The Oklahoma City Thunder win streak now stands at four games following this win. OKC continues to win look like a playoff team and climb the standings in the Western Conference.