The Indiana Pacers are one of the best defensive teams in the NBA and the Oklahoma City Thunder are one of the best offensive teams. Both teams are playing at an incredibly high level. The Pacers coming off of a great sweep of four road games. The Thunder coming off of a huge win over the San Antonio Spurs. Tonight the stage was set for the ultimate showdown of defense versus offense. Could David West and his crew stop the seemingly unstoppable Kevin Durant and his swarm of shooters?
The Oklahoma City Thunder started off strong and made it look like thy were going to take full control with an eight point lead. After a crucial early time out David West and Lance Stephenson drove the team back to tie the game quickly, but Russell Westbrook showed that he wasn’t going to go down easily. The rest of the first quarter was a back and forth battle between these two powerhouse teams.
The second quarter was not incredibly exciting if you like a lot of great shots and high scores. It felt more like a chess match. There was a calculated intensity to it. Both teams were being strategic about the shots they were taking and both were being very accurate. The Indiana Pacers were spreading the ball around. They were also keeping control of the speed, not allowing the Thunder to run them up and down the quart.
There was some excitement as Hasheem Thabeet laid a couple of solid elbows on Tyler Hansbrough. The second got Thabeet a technical foul and landed Tyler Hansbrough to the ground. Russell Westbrook received another technical foul for arguing with an official before the quarter was over. It was clear that both teams came to play and both teams came to win.
The first half ended with a strong attempt for the Pacers to make a shot. David West shot too hard and the Oklahoma City Thunder made him miss a layup. At the end of the first half the Pacers were behind 44-43.
The second half started much like the first. Within a few minutes the Oklahoma City Thunder got up to another eight point lead. The Indiana Pacers showed some sparks but couldn’t seem to get the fire going. They couldn’t find their offense and the Thunder’s offense was more than they could handle. For the majority of the third quarter the Indiana Pacers would claw their way close, but then the Oklahoma City Thunder would slingshot ahead again.
The final quarter was dominated by the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Indiana Pacers couldn’t seem to get any shots to fall their way starting the fourth quarter by missing their first seven shots in a row. They were getting out rebounded and missing almost every three point shot they attempted. After another crucial time out they seemed to get some life back in them. They went on a short run and made several timely shots in a row. It looked for a moment that the Indiana Pacers might be able to come back.
Unfortunately, Kevin Durant’s 34 points and Russell Westbrook’s 24 points were more than the Pacers could keep up with. Indiana was also outrebounded 52 to 29 and were only able to hit 10% of their shots behind the arc. The final score was 97-75. The Oklahoma City Thunder got another big win over another strong playoff team. It seems that the Indiana Pacers will have to wait another night to try and clinch the Central Division.