Pacers overcome Westbrook’s triple double to edge Thunder
By Agence France-Presse
Wesley Matthews scored the winning basket with two seconds remaining in the fourth quarter as the Indiana Pacers rallied in the second half to defeat the Oklahoma City Thunder 108-106 on Thursday.
Matthews put back the winner with two seconds left, capping a 16 point night with seven rebounds for the Pacers who were down by 18 points at one stage.
Domantas Sabonis, who used to play for the Thunder, finished with 26 points as the Pacers stormed from behind in the final 15 minutes of the contest.
Indiana’s magic number for booking a spot in the postseason is now one.
Paul George led the Thunder with 36 points in just his second game in Indianapolis since being traded in July 2017.
Russell Westbrook added 19 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists, but missed a three-pointer at the buzzer that would have won it.
Westbrook’s triple double performance — reaching double digits in three key statistical categories — came in his second game since he received a $25,000 fine after an expletive-laden outburst where he threatened to beat up a female Utah Jazz fan and her heckling husband.
Oklahoma City controlled the pace for most the game but the Pacers changed the script in the third quarter.
After Bojan Bogdanovic made it 104-101, George tied it with his sixth three-pointer and broke the tie with two free throws late in the fourth.
Sabonis tied it back up with another layup with 57 seconds left.
George turned the ball over twice and slipped while on defense during Indiana’s final possession, leaving Matthews the space to get free for the winning tip in.