Pacers use late surge to storm past ThunderNov 11, 2008 - 7:25 AM By Gary Knight PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer
INDIANAPOLIS (Ticker) -- T.J. Ford had a double-double and the Indiana Pacers went on a late run to post a 107-99 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday.
Ford had 24 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds for the Pacers, who closed the game on a 12-4 run after the Thunder had forged a 95-95 tie.
Danny Granger scored 20 points and Jeff Foster added 15 for Indiana.
"We went to the sideline and coach said that T.J. has it going, so keep going to him" Granger said. "He hit a few big shots and the pick and roll we were running was working every single time, so there was no reason to go away from it."
"T.J. Ford was terrific," Pacers coach Jim O'Brien said. "He and Jarret (Jack) and a tough tandem and both are quality point guards. At the end, we came up with huge steals. We played very tough-minded down the stretch."
Kevin Durant scored 37 points for the Thunder, who have lost four straight.
Ford scored 11 of his points in the fourth quarter to lead the way. He hit a 3-pointer with 1:14 to play to make it 103-99 and added a layup with 37 seconds left to make it 105-99.
"Just trying to do whatever it takes to get a win," Ford said of his effort down the stretch. "Fortunately, guys played great defense and we were able to get out on the break and get some easy baskets. We have to give credit to the defense for sparking the offense."
Oklahoma City started hot, scoring 39 points on 13-of-35 (52 percent) shooting, in the first quarter. That was much higher than their league-low 40.8 percent team average. Durant led the way with nine points in the opening period, going 4-of-6 from the floor, including hitting his only attempt from long range.
Indiana pulled back into the game by outscoring the Thunder 24-17 in the second quarter, as Ford scored nine of his 11 first half points and the Pacers closed the gap to 51-48 at the break.
"We gave up 59 points in the second half," Thunder coach P.J. Carlesimo said. "Jarret jack did a great job. We had a hard time guarding he and T.J. in the second half. I thought the guys played hard and, in the first half defensively, we did a more than adequate job. The way Indiana is playing and the players they have, they are very, very hard to guard, and in the first half we did a good job with it. But if you give up 59 points in a half, its hard to win."
The Pacers kept the heat on to start the second half, taking their first lead since early in the game, 60-58, on a Ford jumper from the free throw line with 7:59 left in the third. That was part of a 19-9 run to start the half and give Indiana a 67-60 lead with 5:10 left in the quarter. Granger had nine points in the burst.
Durant single-handedly kept the Thunder in it during the Pacers run, scoring 13 points in the third quarter. A Durant three and a three-point-play by Robert Swift inside the last minute gave Oklahoma City the lead, 78-77 before a Jeff Foster free throw left the game tied, 78-78, heading to the final period.
"The pick and rolls. We didn't do a very good job of covering them for sure," Thunder forward Nick Collison said. "We just hit another bad stretch and couldn't get a stop and they were able to get up five or so (late in the game). Foster set some good picks and we were playing from behind on him that whole stretch. That's kind of the story of our year and that's why we're 1-6."
OKLAHOMA CITY 99
INDIANA 107 FINAL
Nov 10 9:24 PM
OKLAHOMA CITY 78
INDIANA 78 END, 3RD QTR
Nov 10 8:51 PM
OKLAHOMA CITY 51
INDIANA 48 HALFTIME
Nov 10 8:11 PM
OKLAHOMA CITY 34
INDIANA 24 END, 1ST QTR
Nov 10 7:38 PM
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