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Thunder Game Day No. 4: vs. Indiana Pacers

Oklahoma City Thunder (1-2, 1-1 home) vs. Indiana Pacers (2-2, 1-1 away)

Wednesday, Oct. 25 :: 7:00 p.m. CST :: Chesapeake Energy Arena (18,203)

TV: FS Oklahoma (DirectTV 676-5, Cox 37, HD 722, Tulsa Cox 27, U-Verse 751/1751 HD)
Online Streamhere.
RadioWWLS Sports Animal 98.1 FM/640AM/97.1 Tulsa
View from the enemy: Here.
Line: The Oklahoma City Thunder are a 13½-point favorite. The over/under is 217.
Notes: Thunder: here | Pacers: here

 

SETTING THE SCENE

  • Paul George and the Oklahoma City Thunder welcome his former team, Indiana Pacers, and the Thunder’s former players Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis into the Peake.
  • Indiana is fresh off a 130-107 blowout of the Minnesota Timberwolves last night.
  • Oklahoma City fell to the Timberwolves 115-113 in a questionable ending on Sunday night.
  • Indiana is 2-2 with wins over Minnesota and Brooklyn on opening night.

FOLLOWING THE ACTION

  • You can catch the radio on Oklahoma City’s WWLS, 98.1 FM. Matt Pinto will be your play-by-play voice. If you’re in Tulsa, catch it on 1450 AM.
  • Brian Davis and Michael Cage call the game on the Thunder’s flagship station, Fox Sports Oklahoma. You can watch the game there, catch it on NBA League Pass, or use the Fox Sports App (If you’re in Oklahoma).
  • You can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook for game updates.

Thunder thump Knicks

  • Recap
  • With 5.1 seconds to go in the game, Carmelo Anthony drained a three-pointer from Russell Westbrook to give the Thunder a one-point lead until a 30-foot lob from Andrew Wiggins as time expired gave the Timberwolves the game.
  • Oklahoma City outscored Minnesota in fast break points 20-6 and the Thunder bench outscored Timberwolves reserves 28-16 as Jerami Grant and Raymond Felton posted 12 points apiece.
  • Steven Adams logged his first double-double of the season with 17 points and team-best 13 rebounds along with 3 assists and 2 blocks while shooting 8-for-12 from the floor.
  • Russell Westbrook finished with a game and season-high 31 points, team-leading 10 assists, 5 rebounds and a block, going 12-for-24 from the field and 5-for-8 from beyond the arc.

NEW FACES

  • The Oklahoma City Thunder added a bunch of new faces this year.
  • Paul George was acquired on June 30 for Domantas Sabonis and Victor Oladipo.
  • Carmelo Anthony joins the Thunder after Oklahoma City sent Enes Kanter, Doug McDermott and a second round pick to the Knicks for Anthony.
  • Oklahoma City also signed Raymond Felton and Patrick Patterson via free agency.
  • Terrance Ferguson was drafted in the first round out of Australia.
  • Oklahoma City also added PJ Dozier, undrafted rookie out of South Carolina to a two-way deal.

Anthony moving up the ranks

  • Carmelo Anthony currently ranks 25th on the NBA’s all-time scoring list (24,227 points) and fourth among active players behind Dirk Nowitzki, LeBron James and Vince Carter.
  • Anthony is also one of six players in league history alongside Kobe Bryant, Vince Carter, LeBron James, Dirk Nowitzki and Paul Pierce to record 24,000 points, 6,000 rebounds, 2,500 assists, 1,000 steals and 1,000 three-point field goals.

PG13

  • Paul George is the only player since he was drafted in 2010 with at least 2,800 rebounds, 700 steals and a three-point percentage of 37 percent or better.
  • He is one of just five players with at least 8,000 points in 400 starts or less alongside Damian Lillard, Isaiah Thomas, Kyrie Irvingand Kemba Walker.

Westbrook

  • To cap off his MVP season, Russell Westbrook registered his NBA-record-setting 42nd triple-double of the season last April 9th in Denver (Oscar Roberson tallied 41 triple-doubles during the 1961-62 season). Trailing 103-105 with 2.9 seconds left, Westbrook connected on a game-winning 36-foot 3-point field goal to also become the only player in NBA history to post three 50-point triple-doubles in a single season.
  • He is the only player in NBA history to register seven consecutive triple-doubles on two separate occasions during a single season.
  • Westbrook also posted five straight 30-point triple-doubles this season to become the only player in NBA history to ever accomplish the feat.
  • To put further perspective on Westbrook’s triple-doubles, there are 11 NBA teams that have amassed fewer triple-doubles in their entire team history as compared to the 42 logged by Westbrook

Injury Report

  • Terrance Ferguson (ankle) is a game-time decision.

Still good odds

  • According to Sportsbook, the Oklahoma City Thunder have the sixth best odds to win the Larry O’Brien trophy.
  • They have the fourth best odds to win the Western Conference behind, the Clippers, Spurs, Rockets, and the Warriors.

SCOUTING THE Pacers

  • The Indiana Pacers finished the regular season last year 42-40, seventh in the Eastern Conference.
  • Oklahoma City was swept by the Pacers last season.
  • This season, Indiana is 2-2 on the season, 1-1 away from Indianapolis.
  • All-time against Indiana, the Oklahoma City Thunder are 48-37 against the Pacers.
  • Since their relocation, the Thunder are 8-9 against Indiana.
  • Oklahoma City is 5-3 at home against the Pacers since moving to Bricktown.
  • The Thunder have lost four of the last five against Indiana.
  • Myles Turner (concussion) is out.
  • Glenn Robinson Robinson III (ankle) is out.
  • Edmond Sumner (knee) is out.
  • Victor Oladipo is averaging 23.8 points per game to be the leading scorer for the Pacers.
  • Domantas Sabonis is averaging 13.0 points and 9.5 rebounds per game.
  • Indiana has eight players averaging at least 10.0 points per game.
  • The Thunder’s largest margin of victory over Indiana came on March 2, 2011, where Oklahoma City prevailed by a score of 89-113 (24-point margin of victory).
  • Meanwhile, the Thunder’s largest margin of defeat (20 points) vs. Indiana occurred during a 101-121 loss on March 21, 2010.

Next Up

  • On Friday, Oklahoma City then travels to Minneapolis on Friday night to give the T-Wolves another game.
  • Following that: The Thunder will have their second back-to-back of the season, playing the Bulls on Saturday.
  • After that, the Milwaukee Bucks and Giannis Antetokounmpohosts the Thunder on Halloween

Three Keys to the Game

Defend the mid-range

The Indiana Pacers are shooting 56.5 percent from the 8-16 foot range. Oklahoma City needs to defend a little better here. If the Thunder let the Pacers going through getting hot in the mid-range, it could be a long night. They’ll have to defend a little closer and force contested jumpers. Oklahoma City is seventh in defending the mid-range. Let’s see who wins.

Limit fast breaks

While the Thunder can get on the break, the Pacers are equally as good. If the Thunder can limit what Indiana and Victor Oladipo do on the break, they might be able to win this game going away. If the Pacers get out in transition and find their groove, might be a long night.

Get to the foul line

At only 19.0 attempts per game, the Thunder rank 24th in free throw attempts. It doesn’t help Russell Westbrook has struggled from the line in the first two games. Westbrook is 10-of-18 (55.6 percent) this season. He was 2-of-4 in the loss to Minnesota. Westbrook is a career 82.2 percent free throw shooter. The Thunder (and Russ) have to get to the line more.

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