Running thoughts: Thunder 100, Pacers 95

Here are my running thoughts from the Pacers’ 100-95 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder Wednesday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

  • Shootaround was filled with two dozen media members, all waiting to hear from Paul George. He was dealt in the summer so this was the first time this market had heard from him. He spoke for five minutes, praised the Pacers, admitted that he regretted how it was handled (from both sides), and was glad to see that the Pacers successful. [Click here to watch, listen, or read his comments.]
  • To make the morning even busier, the NBA announced that Indianapolis would host the 2021 NBA All-Star Game.
  • (More on the All-Star game from my story with comments from Pacers Sports & Entertainment President Rick Fuson)
  • George heard nothing but boos during team introductions, and every time he touched it. Pacers fans are even more upset than I imagined.
  • It wasn’t a great play, other than he made it, but Lance Stephenson ended the first period with a long jumper. He then pranced his way to the other baseline in celebration. Lance will make em dance, right!?
  • Pacers led 27-22 after 1 with George scoring two points in eight minutes.
  • After a nightmare start (o/4 shooting and four turnovers) — he forced too much — PG scored his first field goal with 3:10 left in the half, an alley-oop from Russell Westbrook.
  • Thunder went the entire first quarter without a foul, while the Pacers were called for five.
  • Steven Adams was the best player in the first half, with 15 points and seven rebounds. Like George, Oladipo struggled to find a groove. He was 3 for 10 with seven points.
  • The environment was charged, but the first half was lackluster. Thunder led by five. Pacers attempted just two free throws until the 2:13 mark of the fourth quarter, and that’s not going to cut it.
  • Hello Patrick Patterson. Two fourth-quarter triples to give OKC an eight-point lead.
  • With 2:32 left, Thad Young and Carmelo Anthony exchanged words — and it was about as upset as I’ve seen Thad. A double technical foul was handed out.
  • Oladipo put a spin move on Anthony to get to the rim and lay it in. 96-94 with one minute left.
  • With 40.8 seconds left, the officials went to the monitor during the timeout to review the called offensive foul on Thad Young. They overturned the call, determining that it was a block on Josh Huestis. Young made one of two free throws.
  • Troubling sideline out of bounds play for the Pacers. It was mishandled and turned over. Ball game. Thunder with the season sweep.
  • Of the Pacers’ 12 losses, they’ve been held below 100 points in seven of them (2-7) — including both losses to OKC.
  • Thad Young recorded his second double-double of the season (11/10) and had a season-high seven steals.
  • 88th career triple-double for Russell Westbrook (11/14/12) and his ninth of the season.
  • In his return, Paul George was just 3-for-14 from the field and finished with 12 points, two rebounds, five assists, three steals, and a win. It snapped the Pacers’ four-game win streak.
  • 15th home game of the season. First sellout crowd of the season (17,923).
  • In the stands: Tony Dungy, Reggie Wayne, former Pacer Monta Ellis, NBC play-by-play man Mike Tirico.
  • Up next: Pacers (16-11) complete their six-game homestand Friday night against the 14-13 Detroit Pistons.

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