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.

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