On Sunday night, NBA executive vice president/basketball operations Stu Jackson announced San Antonio Spurs forward Stephen Jackson was fined $25,000 for issuing a hostile message via Twitter that was directed at Thunder forward Serge Ibaka.
Ibaka and Los Angeles Lakers forward Metta World Peace each received technical fouls when they became entangled late in the game on Friday night at Chesapeake Energy Arena.
Jackson came to World Peace's defense and tweeted the following to Ibaka: “Somebody tell serg Abaka. He aint bout dis life. Next time he run up on me im goin in his mouth. That's a promise. He doin 2 much.”
San Antonio team general manager R.C. Buford said in a statement: “The recent public comments made by Stephen Jackson are absolutely unacceptable, can not be tolerated and do not reflect the standards held by the San Antonio Spurs.”
On Sunday, Jackson apologized for the tweet: “I apologize to @SergeIbaka, the NBA, and to all my fans for the comments I made. It was unprofessional and childish. I'm not a thug just a man who speaks his mind. It was not appropriate. I do apologize. Only a man can admit when he's wrong.”
Armed with a roster filled with long, athletic and physical players, Indiana coach Frank Vogel knew his Pacers had a chance to beat the defending Western Conference champions in its home gym.
“Half the teams that come into this building have lost the game already because they have no matchup that's even close to being able to handle (Russell) Westbrook and (Kevin) Durant,” Vogel explained before Sunday night's contest. “I'm not saying our (matchups) are favorable. There are no favorable matchups with those guys, but when you have length and guys who can guard their own positions as well as our two guys can, and you have guys who can protect the rim, then you have a chance.”
Indiana hung tough until OKC pulled away in the final three minutes in a 104-93 victory that pushed the Thunder's winning streak to eight straight while scoring 100-plus points for the 12th straight game.
The Pacers were stung by 24 points from Thunder sixth man Kevin Martin, with 22 coming in 15 first-half minutes during which he shot 6 for 7 from the field (3 for 4 from 3-point range) and 7 for 8 from the free-throw line.
“We didn't get him under control in the first half,” Vogel said of Martin. “We were able to get back at him in the second half and take advantage of some defensive liabilities, and we got him under control in the second half.”
The Thunder outscored the Pacers 17-8 in second-chance points and 12-10 in fast-break points, but Indiana outscored OKC 44-34 in the paint. … Westbrook leads the Thunder with four technical fouls (with one rescinded). … Indiana has played against eight Western Conference teams in its last nine games. “Honestly, I don't really pay too much attention to that,” Vogel said. “To me, it's just the next game or the next couple of games. Doesn't really matter if it's East or West.”
Vogel on what he told his team afterward: “I told them we played a heck of a game and lost to a heck of a team.”
BY JOHN ROHDE