The Oklahoma City Thunder (2-2) defeated the Indiana Pacers (2-3) with the score 114-96.
There was a lot of interest for this game: Paul George against his previous (and only) team and the return in OKC of Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis as opponents. In addition to that, there were high expectations to see how the Thunder would bounce back after two consecutive losses.
If George’s performance is pretty forgettable (10 points and 6 fouls), Oklahoma City as a team did not disappoint. Offensively they were near perfect: a lot of ball movement, great pick-and-rolls between Westbrook and Adams, good shots selection. Defensively there were still some miscommunications, but surely it was a solid performance.
Until halftime, it was Victor Oladipo who kept the game alive for the Indiana Pacers. Despite Oladipo’s great half, Oklahoma City always felt in control of the contest. In the second half, the Thunder were able to slow down Oladipo (even if he finished with 35 points) and to run away with a good win.
Thoughts and Stats
- Russell Westbrook notched his 2nd triple-double of the season. He finished with 28 points (10-18 FG), 16 assists, and 10 rebounds. Westbrook is still off from the FT line (only 6-10 yesterday) though. After the game, when asked about it, Westbrook explained that he had to change his free throw routine because the rule of delay time in the NBA has changed: he can’t go behind the three-point line before shooting (he did this since high-school) and this it’s troubling him with his shooting.
- Carmelo Anthony had a really nice game. He scored 28 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. His shooting has been better as well last night: 9-17 FG, 3-7 3PT, 7-9 FT. More important, we saw him being aggressive, both on the glass (10 rebounds) and on defense (3 blocks).
- Steven Adams played fantastically. He bullied all the big guys that Indiana throw at him, offense and defense. Adams’ stat line is pretty impressive: 17 points, 11 rebounds, 2 steals, and 2 blocks. Steven is enjoying all the space created by playing with three superstars instead of only one. On the pick and roll, he was always in the perfect position while rolling. Last night, Adams was unstoppable. Hopefully, for Thunder fans, Steven will keep up this type of play all season.
- Due to George’s foul trouble and Ferguson’s injury we had the chance to see more of Josh Huestis. Despite he didn’t shoot the ball well (1-5 FG), you could see that he is comfortable on offense: shooting, driving, cutting. On defense, he showed that he can really defend. Yesterday he played more minutes than Roberson, will this be a trend? I am already looking forward to see what Donovan will do from the next game.
- Thunder’s bench has been good so far this season. Yesterday, the second unit finished with 27 points.
- As mentioned in the game preview, one of the keys to the game would have been rebounding. Well, the Thunder did a great job about it and finished with 49 where 16 were offensive rebounds.
- The Thunder finished with 49 rebounds, 26 assists, 8 steals, 8 blocks, and 20 turnovers
- Oklahoma City shot 48.3% from the floor, 37% from behind the arc, and 69.2% from the free throw line.
The Thunder will play in Minnesota on Friday night against the Timberwolves.