Post-Game Grades: Thunder Steamroll Pacers in the Fourth Quarter

The Pacers played well for the fist eight minutes. And then they didn’t. Things are simple sometimes.

Give the Thunder credit. Kevin Durant is so effortless. Paul George had no prayer, even with his long arms, of contesting his shots. He just levitates and drops the ball through the net, and his team did an excellent job getting him the ball in spots where he could take good (for him) looks.

It didn’t help that George got beat backdoor on three occasions, but it’s hard to fault a guy too much for cheating towards trying to keep the ball out of Durant’s hands.

It all fell off the rails right after the game started to be mucked up. OKC started to miss shots so they didn’t really pull ahead, but the Pacers just ground to a halt and could never really recover. David West, Roy Hibbert and George Hill each had a few mini-flurries that allowed Indiana to keep pace on the scoreboard through the first 24 minutes, but the team really never started to look cohesive. They weren’t really in sync and finding easy-to-duplicate ways to score. It felt like they were just making a few plays here and there.

Then, in the third quarter, the Thunder started to pour it on.

Durant kept going and they just couldn’t miss. Meanwhile, the Pacers stopped making any plays. Still, it was somehow a five-point game after three. Indiana just managed to keep nearly catching up, playing Scrappy Do underfoot.

That fourth quarter, though, not so close.

The final period started and it was all over but the crying.

The score got really, really lopsided really, really quickly. In all, Oklahoma City out-scored Indiana 25-8 in the fourth. Yeesh.

Tough homecoming after a 4-0 road trip. The days off couldn’t help, even though they are probably great long-term as far as rest and health is concerned.

But what can you do? Sometimes a better team just comes in an smacks you across the face. You would like to see Indiana not bow down so easily, which shows in the box score in Oklahoma City’s 15 offensive boards and Indiana’s 5 fast-break points. (Note: The Thunder only had 6 fast break points themselves. Just a slow, grinding, stoppage-heavy game.)

It’s a rough, ugly, deflating way to lose.

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Here is how each guy played individually tonight. Agree? Disagree? Express your thoughts below in the comments or yell at me (@8pts9secs) or Tim (@TimDonahue8p9s) on Twitter.

David West, PF 35 MIN | 7-14 FG | 3-4 FT | 5 REB | 2 AST | 3 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 17 PTS | -14

Seemed to make some really big shots when the team starting to fall behind.

Paul George, SF 38 MIN | 3-11 FG | 2-5 FT | 7 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 8 PTS | -18

Pretty terrible on both ends of the floor.

Roy Hibbert, C 31 MIN | 8-14 FG | 6-6 FT | 8 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 2 TO | 22 PTS | -14

Still getting it done down low and had a few “no, no, no” jumpers that turned into points. Really playing with confidence on both ends. Foul trouble hurt, his output and the team. He had a sick chasedown block on Russell Westbrook.

George Hill, PG 37 MIN | 4-12 FG | 1-1 FT | 4 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 10 PTS | -21

Couldn’t hit any shots. Had one nice little stretch in the third that helped keep it close for a while, but not one anyone is ever going to look fondly upon.

Lance Stephenson, SG 30 MIN | 2-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 3 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 4 PTS | -10

As uninvolved as I can remember in some time. Felt like he played more like 16 minutes. Which was weird because he scored several early buckets and set up layups. But otherwise didn’t get out in the break at all.

Tyler Hansbrough, PF 15 MIN | 1-3 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 4 PTS | -11

Got hit in the face, neck area a few times. Didn’t have much other effect on the outcome.

Gerald Green, SF 10 MIN | 1-3 FG | 2-2 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 4 PTS | -4

The way he passes you would think he has was wearing two compression eyepatches.

Ian Mahinmi, C 14 MIN | 0-0 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 0 PTS | -5

Spent his time while subbing for Roy in foul trouble showing off his Merle Dixon hands. No wait. I had something for this. His Edward Mahinmi-hands. #nailedit

D.J. Augustin, PG 12 MIN | 0-3 FG | 2-2 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | -1

Not good.

Orlando Johnson, SG 18 MIN | 1-5 FG | 1-2 FT | 3 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 4 PTS | -12

Seemed OK but if he’s not scoring, there isn’t a lot else going on.

Tags: Game Recap

  • dwaink

    when they were driving the lane the score stayed close, when they quit…not so much
    when PGeorge was driving the lane KD had to work hard and had 2 points, when he wasn’t driving the lane 30+ points for KD(running KD through 4 screens every play really worked(who knew?))
    there were some awesome play sets in that first quarter, really interesting angle-off the elbow pick and pops by Roy and West…u know like someone was calling plays and someone(right?) was running them, after that …not so much
    PGeorge needs a passing clinic 1) don’t sling the ball
    Green really sucked at defending and passing(I hate this)
    where was that eye of the tiger they had on that road trip? did home cooking kill it?
    Roy played great.

  • NLP

    Our reserve front court of Tyler and Ian have taken a total of 5 shots over the last two games, If the plan in the playoffs to get all of our bench scoring on jumpers from DJ, Green and a rookie OJ then Frank might as well play the starters the full 48.

    I’m baffled how after two years of this we still have no set roles with the second unit with the playoffs right around the corner. As long as Frank is the man here I have a feeling the we;re always going to be talking about upgrading the bench year to year but it will never matter unless Frank ever learns how to coach them or we have a terrible starter and the 6th man plays 30+ MP.

    • Derek Cooper

      Maybe TH isn’t effective posting up with the reserve unit ?defense better able to focus on him? Idk but if were not able to efficiently post up TH I gotta say JP seems like a better fit / compliment. Especially if we could split up_stagger roy+ wests mins more so we could almost always have 1 out there. Hey JP can hit the open jumper occaisional 3 + finish around the rim+ doesn’t expect plays run for him. O and can finish an allyoop. And had 4 assists in a game awhile back. And if he’s rolling u can give him center mins too.

      • ntmd8tr

        Careful what you wish for. Assuming West signs there is a high probability Tyler walks. Indy better draft a PF because Pendergraph is a foul machine (6 per 36 minutes) and isn’t the answer to backup West.

        • Derek Cooper

          eh every choice like this is a gamble in the nba but I really like what I’ve seen from JP_id imagine he can work on the foul frequency…

    • dwaink

      as long as everything is clicking u don’t notice it so much, but when no one has the hot hand then the lack of roles, plays,(coaching?)passing, driving the lane…a closer….when the second unit offense grinds to a halt against good teams…yeah the lack of a plan or roles becomes obvious…hey lets drive the lane and run plays set for our role players…instead of standing around at the 3 point line until the shot clock expires?

      • Derek Cooper

        Like the idea of trying to get our guards driving in there somemore. Think if we had lineup of GH-LS-OJ-DW-JP it’d be a good unit for some pick+roll-flex-motion type stuff__mainly focused on driving in. DW had plenty of experience+sucess w/ pick+rolling-popping in new orleans and JP(pendergraph) is athletic+ can hit an open shot+ both bigs decent passers. Emphasis on getting LS+GH going to the rim. Cud set up this lineup w/ this rotation__starters 1st__sub to__DA-OJ-PG-JP-RH(shooters around big roy who is a different level of post player now)__then sub to__GH-LS-OJ-DW-JP(flexy-pic+roll/pop stuff__occaisional reg post up DW. Seems reasonable. Roys rocking+ GH+LS have fallen off a cliff lately_ why not adjust+adapt?

  • Sam Myers

    Did anybody notice that Durant covered Stephenson and whoever the Thunder’s shooting guard is covered Paul George? That was the same tactic the Heat used the last time they played us and it worked great.

    • dwaink

      and of course we posted that shorter guy up on every play to make em pay…right…doh

      • Janis Karl

        The SG of the Thunder is Thabo Sefolosha – an elite Wing Defender. That’s one cause, why George had such an off-game.

  • Derek Cooper

    How dare roy hibbert allow westbrook to run into him with his shoulder_proper respect for true nba stars requires guys like roy to dive out of the way so mr westbrook has a clear path for a sic dunk because that’s money_ furthermore roy shouldn’t forget to bow down and kiss mr westbrooks toes after any such sic dunk_that’s proper respectful behavior. Thank u nba officials for trying to get our boy roy in line and teach him some manners_ he’s such a punk sometimes but please don’t give up on him_ with enough whistles I’m sure we’ll eventually get him straightened out.

    • Jack Wright

      hahahah I like this

  • Jack Wright