OKLAHOMA – Oklahoma City’s high-octane offence has powered the team to the best record in the NBA, but it was defence that got the job done last night as the Thunder rolled to their eighth straight win, a 104-93 victory over the visiting Indiana Pacers.
Oklahoma City, who came into the game averaging more than 106 points, trailed the Pacers by four mid-way through the third quarter before seizing the momentum with a 17-3 run.
Kevin Durant scored 10 of his 27 points in the fourth quarter, while reserve Kevin Martin added 24 for the Thunder, who are tied with San Antonio at the top of the Western Conference with a record of 17-4.
David West had 21 points for the Pacers (10-11), who saw all of their starters reach double figures scoring.
With last season’s leading scorer Danny Granger sidelined with a knee injury, Indiana averaged less than 91 points per game coming into the contest, which is last in the NBA.
The Pacers managed to stay close before Oklahoma City kicked things into another gear. Durant began the game making just four of 17 shots but missed only two of his last seven.
Indiana pulled to 94-91 in the fourth quarter but the Thunder netted a couple quick baskets and Russell Westbrook made a big block on Roy Hibbert to quell the Pacers.
Westbrook chipped in with 21 points, seven rebounds and six assists for the defending Western Conference champions, who were coming off an impressive win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday.
Sunday night’s other scores: Raptors 83, Clippers 102; Bucks 97, Nets 88; Nuggets 106, Knicks 112; Magic 98, Suns 90; Jazz 117, Lakers 110.††