OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma City insisted there was no extra motivation playing against an Indiana team sporting the NBA's best record.
Kevin Durant certainly played like there was on Sunday night, scoring 36 points and grabbing 10 rebounds as the Thunder made quick work of the visiting Pacers with a 118-94 win.
What started as a matchup of NBA Finals' hopefuls quickly turned into a rout, with Oklahoma City leading by as many as 29 points in the first half before finishing with stars Durant and Russell Westbrook — who added 26 points and 13 assists — resting comfortably on the bench.
It was also a largely one-sided affair — particularly early — in the matchup between Durant and Indiana All-Star Paul George.
George finished with 32 points, but he had only six at halftime as the Thunder surged ahead and never looked back.
"I take everything personal, no matter who I'm playing," Durant said. "I'm always grateful for the opportunity to play, so I never want to take it for granted.
"... Of course, playing one of the best teams in the league, you've always got to bring it a little bit more, I guess, and tonight I think we all did that."
While George was quiet offensively in the first half, Durant opened the game with a point to prove against last year's Eastern Conference finalist.
The NBA's leading scorer at 28.5 points per game hit 6 of 7 shots in the first quarter, scoring 14 of the Thunder's first 18 points. It was just the start of the fun for Oklahoma City, which improved to 10-0 at home this season and is the only Western Conference team still undefeated at home.
"I think we know that we can play with the best of them," Westbrook said. "I think tonight we did a good job of just playing our game."
Durant was 14 of 23 from the field and Oklahoma City shot a season-best 61 percent (47 of 77). Reggie Jackson added 15 points off the bench, while Serge Ibaka finished with 13.
Indiana, which shot just 40 percent (34 of 85), was playing its second game in two nights — having won at San Antonio on Saturday.