Thunder offense too much for Pacers' D, 104-93

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 9, 2012 at 9:41 pm •  Published: December 9, 2012
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Oklahoma City came in ranked second in the league — behind only Indiana — in allowing opponents to shoot 42.4 percent from the field. The Pacers were 24 for 40 in the first half and trailed mainly because of a 12-point deficit at the foul line.

"Coach got on us at halftime. That wasn't championship defense right there," said Martin, who had 22 points in the first half. "We realized that, and that was the No. 1 priority going out there in the second half, just being physical and making them take tough jumpers and getting rebounds. That's what we did."

George ended up with 17 points and Lance Stephenson and Hibbert chipped in 10 apiece for the Pacers. After the hot start, Indiana finished with 46 percent shooting from the field.

Oklahoma City also outrebounded the Pacers — the league's top rebounding team — 40-34 and made 14 more free throws in 17 more attempts.

The Thunder shot 49 percent.

"It's tough to see guys making shots when you're playing tough defense on them. That was really what it was for us," George said.

Durant started out 4 for 17 from the field but hit five of six shots during a key stretch with Indiana trying to rally. Most of the damage came from the post, where Oklahoma City took advantage of the Pacers' defense switching screens with the small Hill ending up on Durant.

"They found something definitely," George said.

George sank a 3-pointer from the right wing to spark a 13-0 first-half run by the Pacers that tied it at 45. Stephenson had a three-point play during the spurt, and also hit the free throw following Westbrook's technical foul for reacting dramatically to what he thought should have been a foul against Indiana.

Westbrook made up for it, though, earning three free throws by sneaking his foot between West's feet on his 3-point follow-through and tripping him to draw a foul against West. After West argued vehemently, Westbrook knocked down all three foul shots to help the Thunder hold a 57-56 edge at halftime.

"You go through games like that throughout the whole season," Durant said. "Your energy is not there at the start, but I think it's how you finish."

NOTES: The Pacers became the first opponent to outscore the Thunder during the second quarter in seven games. Oklahoma City held a 70-point edge in the period during the span. ... Hibbert blocked at least two shots for the 15th straight game. He had two. ... Prior to the game, Oklahoma City recalled reserve point guard Reggie Jackson from its NBA development league affiliate in Tulsa. Jackson had played only one game on his assignment with the 66ers. Jeremy Lamb and Daniel Orton, who were also sent down Friday, remain with Tulsa.