The 5 Best Pacers Games of the Year

Indiana Pacers fan
Indiana Pacers fan /
5 of 6
indiana pacers russell westbrook
Apr 12, 2015; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) brings the ball up court against the Indiana Pacers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports /

Stopping Superman

Indiana 116, Oklahoma City 104 – April 12, 2015

In the words of Mark Jackson, “Mama, there goes that man.”

Russell Westbrook was that man on this fateful Sunday when the Thunder star poured in an incredible performance — even for him in a year full of them.

The Indiana Pacers needed to win out to make the playoffs, but Oklahoma City’s MVP candidate was in the midst of a string of triple-doubles and in no mood to relent.

The Thunder were fighting for their playoff lives as well, and Russ dropped a Fieldhouse record and a career-high 54 points, combined with 9 rebounds and 8 assists, on 21-of-43 (48.8%) shooting. Ridiculous.

One problem though: He got hit with a tech late in the game. A rescinded, completely undeserved technical foul, yes, but a technical that helped the Pacers to push a 93-88 lead to a 100-88 lead all within 45 seconds.

Don’t underestimate Westbrook, though.

He made it close, almost too close.

After OKC got it down to 102-91, Russ completely took over, starting with a mid-range jumper with an and-one attached. Then Dion Waiters blocked a Scola attempt, and Russ hit a 3-pointer. 102-97. Then Stuckey missed a three and Westbrook took the rebound and went coast-to-coast to lay it in, making it 102-97. The UCLA alum had just dropped six straight points on Indiana in a minute and a half. Ridiculous Russ strikes again.

He would go on to score another 4 points, to reach 54, but Indiana did everything right to combat down the stretch. After the Westbrook lay-in and a timeout, Roy Hibbert came out and slammed it home (an actual dunk where both feet left the ground!) to make it 104-99. Then George Hill scored 4 points in response to a Westbrook three-pointer.

With exactly a minute on the clock, Westbrook was fouled but made only 1-of-2 freebies to make it 108-104 in favor of the Indiana Pacers. C.J. Miles delivered the dagger – a 3-pointer from the corner to put Indiana up 111-104.

To add to the fun, Paul George came off the bench to play 14 minutes, totaling 8 points and 6 rebounds.

The final score was 116-104 after free throws, but the Indiana Pacers were keen to show their home crowd they planned on fighting for everything, including the 8-seed, until the end.

In the end, neither team made the playoffs, each finishing 9th in their respective conferences. But nobody knew that then, and both teams threw everything they had at one another.

It was a standstill heavyweight fight with both squads going blow for blow. And on their home court, the Pacers won the belt that night.

Next: Game #1