The Indiana Pacers came to town today, and of course, what everyone wanted to know is how newly arrived Thunder forward Paul George would fare against his old team, and how well Indiana’s new guys, Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis, would do against OKC, who traded them to the Pacers for PG-13. George’s night could be reasonably described as meh, with 11 points and six fouls in 19 minutes; Domas’s was equally so, with four points and five fouls in 18 minutes, though his eleven rebounds have plenty of redeeming social value. But VO4 had a night you wouldn’t believe: 11-18 from the floor — 5-7 on three-pointers, for a whopping 35 points. (And, lest we forget, five fouls.) Had Myles Turner not been on concussion protocol, the Pacers might have won this one. As it stands, at the 2:02 mark, the Pacers threw in the towel. Meanwhile, OKC was able to deploy a nicely active Carmelo Anthony (28 points, 10 rebounds) and Russell Westbrook (28 points, 10 rebounds, 16 assists), plus a Steven Adams double-double (17/11), to send them back to Indiana with a 114-96 beating.
Despite Oladipo’s hot hand, the Pacers did not shoot well: 34 percent, whether for two points or for three. Not wonderful for a team that had averaged over 50 percent up to that point. Nor did they defend particularly well: only two blocks, both by Oladipo, and a decisive rebounding deficit. They did, however, collect 35 free throws, making 30. And while the Thunder still spent too much time spinning their wheels in the mud, they did manage to shoot at the 48-percent level, and they weren’t embarrassing from beyond the arc: 10 of 27.
Next three are on the road, and at least there’s not much travel: Friday at Minnesota — the Wolves have already thrashed the Thunder once this season — Saturday at Chicago, and Tuesday at Milwaukee. The Gods of Scheduling sneaked in a single home game (against the Celtics) before another three-game road trip. Things will be getting interesting.