Coming into their match-up Friday night in Indiana, the Oklahoma City Thunder had not lost three games in a row all season. The Thunder, who had not won a game since winning at home against the Chicago Bulls on April 1st, were 11-4 against the Eastern conference. The Indiana Pacers took it to the Thunder all night long at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, eventually withstanding the Oklahoma City comeback, to win the game 103-98.
Indiana led by as many as 24 points, but Kevin Durant and the Thunder would not go away. Led by Durant’s game-high 44 points, the Thunder cut Indiana’s lead to three points, but the Pacers held on tight to take the win. Oklahoma city put up 37 points in the fourth quarter, but only had 41 points in the first half of the game.
The statement victory was Indiana’s fourth win in a row, and the first game of a set of four back-to-back match-ups which dated back to the middle of last week. Indiana has little time to soak in the win, as they will face the Boston Celtics on Saturday, in a possible playoff preview.
Indiana’s head coach Frank Vogel spoke to the media after the victory. “Heck of a win for our team. When you have a great basketball team coming into a game with great urgency, there’s always cause for concern, but our guys rose to the challenge. Our guys just competed. It was just about competeing out there and hanging on. Shoot, Kevin Durant’s as good as it comes in terms of scoring the basketball.”