Pacers coach Frank Vogel said, “They had great energy defensively, and they took us out of a lot of our stuff.”
George finished the game 9 of 17 with 32 points, but he scored 18 of those points in the third quarter largely against the second unit when the Thunder had hit the cruise-control button. He made some moves that drew oohs and aahs from The Peake crowd, but he was largely a non-factor.
Ditto for Hibbert, who had 12 points, nine rebounds and no blocks.
Meanwhile, the Pacers had no answer for the Thunder's big three.
Kevin Durant scored 36 points and basically got whatever shot he wanted. The ease with which he scored that many points was almost scary.
Russell Westbrook was a defensive pest and an offensive enabler, finishing with 26 points, 13 assists and seven rebounds.
And Serge Ibaka hit one silky smooth jumper from the top of the key after another.
Against the team that statistically has the best defense in the league, the Thunder shot a whopping 61 percent from the floor.
“If we play like that, there's not too many teams that can beat us but ourselves,” Westbrook said. “Tonight was one of those nights that we did a good job playing our game and doing what we do best, which is defend and try to get easy transition points.”
Now, all things being equal, there's no way the Thunder is 20-plus points better than the Pacers, but Sunday showed that OKC is clearly better.
So, if the Pacers would finish a long season on the other side of the Finals matchup, the Thunder has to like that. Has to like it a lot.
Jenni Carlson: Jenni can be reached at (405) 475-4125. Like her at facebook.com/JenniCarlsonOK, follow her at twitter.com/jennicarlson_ok or view her personality page at newsok.com/jennicarlson.