Squaring Circle City

Once again, the Thunder bring out the Enhanced Defense in the fourth quarter: nine minutes into the final frame in Indianapolis, the Pacers had produced exactly seven points on 2-14 shooting. Frank Vogel, no fool, found the nearest towel and threw it in; Indiana managed one more point before the horn, and the Thunder, thought to be dead tired from last night’s late game against the Spurs, knocked out the Pacers 97-75.

Signs of Total Domination: (1) Every Pacer finished on the minus side of the scale; (2) OKC owned the boards, 53-31; (3) Indiana put up 21 three-pointers, of which only two actually dropped into the cylinder. The Pacers’ mainstays, Roy Hibbert and David West, made a reasonable showing — both scored in double figures while making half their shots — but anyone named George (that would be Paul George and George Hill) found the going rough, and nobody on the bench managed more than four.

It’s difficult to find new ways to say “Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook took over the place,” simply because that’s what they do. KD cashed in 34 points, Russ 24 with nine assists and only two turnovers, and everyone else did just enough to remind you that hey, they’re here too. Daniel Orton (!) got an offensive rebound in garbage time, and who was predicting that?

So the good news: OKC 56-20, San Antonio 56-20. The bad news: the Knicks come to the ‘Peake on Sunday afternoon, and they’ve won 11 straight. Then again, the Pacers had won five straight, and the Thunder beat ’em in Indy. So maybe there’s no need to get, um, Melo-dramatic here.





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