Early on, the Thunder turned defense into offense. Transition baskets were the key to them scoring 30 first quarter points.
However in the second quarter, the game completely switched. The pace of the game slowed and it became more of a defensive, attritional battle.
With the game slowing down, Oklahoma City entered halftime with a narrow three point lead.
Out of the break the Thunder started fast, going on a 12-0 scoring run that pushed their lead to as much as 16 points.
“It was really just reading their defense, pushing the ball and playing in transition which was our main focus out of halftime,” Luguentz Dort said.
Unfortunately, during that run Shai Gilgeous-Alexander went down with a sprained ankle and did not return.
Head coach Mark Daigneault said the team will have an update on Gilgeous-Alexander tomorrow.
After the injury the Pacers made a scoring run of their own. The 15-3 run was caused by a change to zone defense that gave the Thunder problems offensively.
Once the Pacers deficit was at single digits it became a back and forth affair. With nine minutes remaining it was a one point game.
Then with five minutes left, the game was tied at 91. To make things more nerve-racking the game was tied at 100 with under a minute to go.
Down the stretch is where the Thunder missed Gilgeous-Alexander most, as nobody could create an open look.
After grabbing an offensive rebound, Caris Levert had a chance to win the game on a three pointer but missed and sent the game into overtime.
In overtime the Pacers scored first and then Oklahoma City proceeded to score eight straight. Six of those points came from Dort three pointers.
But again the Thunder were unable to shut the door. A late turnover by Dort led to an easy Pacers layup that gave them a 111-110 lead with 40 seconds remaining.
Dort made up for his mistake with a steal of his own but the Thunder squandered two layups that would’ve regained the lead.
After some late free throws, Indiana would seal the overtime victory with a final score of 113-110.
This was the Thunder’s first overtime game of the season and this circumstance favored the more experienced Pacers team.
In the decisive moments, the Thunder’s offense seemed to stall. Overall, they had 19 turnovers which added to their struggles in the half court.
Also, while Shai went down, Pacers star Domantas Sabonis showed up big time. Sabonis posted a triple double with 24 points, 10 assists and 18 rebounds. The Pacers as a team out rebounded the Thunder by 17.
This could be due to Oklahoma City starting a smaller lineup with three guards.
“That’s the risk you run, with a small lineup but credit to Sabonis and the rest of them rebounding is kind of what they do,” Daigneault said.
Oklahoma City will look to bounce back next week at home against the Portland Trailblazers.