Paul George’s return to Indiana was an ugly, but necessary, win for the Thunder

Paul George’s return to Indiana was an ugly, but necessary, win for the Thunder
December 13
06:39 2017

The Thunder marched into Indiana on Wednesday, and in Paul George’s first game at Bankers Life Fieldhouse as an opponent, they defeated the Pacers, 100-95.

Pacers fans booed, and booed and booed on every possession, and maybe it worked. George wasn’t himself. He finished with 12 points on 3-of-14 shooting while turning the ball over four times. Oklahoma City was outscored by three with him on the floor.

But George sealed the deal with a huge steal on Indiana’s second-to-last possession before hitting the foul line to drain two free throws. And after the final buzzer, he had one message for the fans who jeered him all night long:

George didn’t have the best night, but neither did his co-stars

Russell Westbrook had a triple double but shot just 3-of-17 from the field. Carmelo Anthony had only 14 points on 4-of-14 shooting. Their big three didn’t move the ball.

But thankfully Steven Adams was a life saver with 23 points and 13 rebounds. Alex Abrines provided spacing and hit four of his six threes. And Patrick Patterson’s eight points in 13 minutes off the bench was a breath of fresh air.

Oklahoma City’s Raymond Felton-led second unit also gave the Thunder the punch it needed by selflessly finding the open man. Their bench accounted for 29 points and along with Felton’s six assists.

The Thunder have struggled on the road this season, but they got a much-needed victory in a signature game for George at his old stomping grounds in Indiana. Oklahoma City is now just one game below .500 and is tied with the Utah Jazz for the eighth spot in the West.

Anthony’s return to New York against the Knicks is up next on the Thunder schedule. If they can rattle off a second win on the road in a hostile environment, it could be the beginning of a bonding period for three stars finding their way through a tough season.

The two players acquired for George are fueling Indiana’s rise

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