Pacers vs Thunder

Game Recap: Pacers 122, Thunder 116

The Pacers defeated the Thunder, 122-116. Malcolm Brogdon led all scorers with 29 points, 15 rebounds and seven assists for the Pacers, while Caris LeVert added 28 points, five rebounds, six assists a

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Game Recap: Pacers 122, Thunder 116

The Pacers defeated the Thunder, 122-116. Malcolm Brogdon led all scorers with 29 points, 15 rebounds and seven assists for the Pacers, while Caris LeVert added 28 points, five rebounds, six assists a
Apr 21, 2021  |  00:02

Postgame: Pacers Locker Room - Apr. 21, 2021

April 21, 2021 - After a 122-116 win over the Thunder, Oshae Brissett and Malcolm Brogdon share their thoughts.
Apr 21, 2021  |  03:16

Brissett Works on Both Ends of the Floor

April 21, 2021: Oshae Brissett blocks the shot and runs the floor, ending up with a dunk off the assist from T.J. McConnell.
Apr 21, 2021  |  00:13

Caris Shows Off Some Moves

April 21, 2021: Caris LeVert puts his defender on skates and finishes with the up-and-under.
Apr 21, 2021  |  00:10

Oshae Throws It Down

April 21, 2021: The Pacers intercept the inbounds pass, and Oshae Brissett throws down the strong slam.
Apr 21, 2021  |  00:09

LeVert Finishes Through Contact

April 21, 2021: The Pacers force another turnover and Caris LeVert runs the floor and finishes through the foul.
Apr 21, 2021  |  00:11

Brissett Goes Up and Under

April 21, 2021: A total team effort leads to Oshae Brissett getting the ball at the basket and finishing on the other side of the rim.
Apr 21, 2021  |  00:11

LeVert Strips the Ball and Dunks

April 21, 2021: Caris LeVert gets the clean steal and takes it himself for the dunk.
Apr 21, 2021  |  00:09

Martin Sticks With It

April 21, 2021: Kelan Martin pulls off the smooth baseline move and sticks with the play for the putback.
Apr 21, 2021  |  00:15

LeVert Goes Coast to Coast

April 21, 2021: Caris LeVert grabs the rebound and goes coast-to-coast for the layup.
Apr 21, 2021  |  00:09

Pacers Turn Defense to Offense

April 21, 2021: Oshae Brissett gets the steal and Kelan Martin drives strong to the rim on the offensive end.
Apr 21, 2021  |  00:12

McConnell Finds Holiday For Three

April 21, 2021: T.J. McConnell whips over the pass to Aaron Holiday for the corner three.
Apr 21, 2021  |  00:07

Game Rewind: Pacers 122, Thunder 116

Wednesday, April 21, 2021 at 7:00 PM ET at Bankers Life Fieldhouse
by Brendan Rourke
Pacers.com Contributor

Game Recap

Coming into tonight’s game, Indiana (27-31) realized they would host the Oklahoma City Thunder (20-39) without a true post player. Domantas Sabonis, Myles Turner, and Goga Bitadze were sidelined with injuries, while JaKarr Sampson was assessed a one-game suspension after his altercation with the Spurs' Patty Mills on Monday. The tallest player available was Indiana's newest signee, the 6-7 Oshae Brissett.

Along with veterans Malcolm Brogdon and Caris LeVert, Brissett answered the call and willed Indiana to a 122-116 victory over the visitors. Guarding a 7-2 Moses Brown, the forward tallied an impressive 23-point, 12-rebound double-double in 42:06 of game time. He finished with a +/- rating of +12 – trailing only T.J. McConnell's +17.

"I came in here with high hopes," Brissett told Bally Sports Indiana postgame. "I knew the work I put in was going to pay off. But to this extent, it's crazy."

"I think he's the best late signing of the season, maybe in the history of the game," Brogdon said with a smile. "He's playing amazing basketball."

In crunch time, it was Brogdon who sealed the deal. After committing a costly turnover that trimmed Indiana's lead to two, the guard put the game away by sinking four straight at the free-throw line. He finished with a game-high 29 points, 15 rebounds, and seven assists. LeVert added 28 more, completing the trio that Indiana leaned on for the win.

With the Pacers undermanned at center, the offense found success around the perimeter early and often. The Blue & Gold started 4-of-7 from long range, including a pair from both Edmond Sumner and Justin Holiday, to help take an 18-12 lead midway through the first.

The hot start fizzled for a moment, as the Thunder found 10 unanswered points in the paint in a 1:56 span. Oklahoma City found itself in front, 22-18, with 4:22 remaining in the first.

However, the Pacers caught fire once again. Threes from Brogdon and Aaron Holiday, followed by a pair from McConnell, anchored a 16-6 run down the stretch to grab a 34-28 lead after one. The squad finished the frame 8-of-14 from deep.

Two quick buckets from McConnell and Kelan Martin pushed the Blue & Gold’s lead to double digits in the second. From there, the squad maintained a comfortable lead for much of the frame. Brissett and Martin fought for rebounds like seasoned veterans. With 6:11 to play, the former Butler star snagged his third offensive board of the frame and tipped in a layup to grab a 53-41 lead.

From there Brogdon and LeVert combined for the next 18 Pacers points. LeVert showed his versatility, swiping the ball from Theo Maledon’s hands and sprinting for a fast-break slam at the 3:45 mark. Later, Brogdon’s stop-and-go driving layup kept a 63-53 Indiana lead.

When the Thunder cut the lead to single digits, Sumner and Brogdon notched consecutive layups to stretch the lead back to 12. Darius Bazley’s free throws with 17.3 seconds to go trimmed it to 67-57 before the break.

Indiana’s lead bounced between eight and 12 early in the third as the squad kept up its physicality and quick defensive hands. Starting at the 9:32 mark, Brissett recorded his second block, while Justin Holiday followed with his second steal to keep a 71-61 lead. Seconds later, Brogdon found Brissett cutting to the rim for a crafty reverse layup to extend the margin to 12.

However, the Thunder finally broke through Indiana’s defenses, notching 11 straight – all from Bazley and Brown – to trim the comfortable lead to 73-72 with 6:59 remaining. Brissett’s triple from the left side finally ended the spree and Indiana’s 2:33 scoring drought.

Soon after, Indiana leaned on its veteran starter once again. Brogdon tallied seven of a 10-2 Pacers run to jump ahead 86-76 with 3:35 to go.

Down the stretch, Brogdon teamed up with Brissett to maintain a lead. Leading 89-84 with less than a minute to go, Brogdon found the forward for a bank shot to push the lead to seven. After Tony Bradley responded with a bucket, the guard knocked one in himself. With 13.2 seconds remaining, Brogdon pulled up from 21 feet and drilled a jumper to take a 93-86 advantage into the final frame.

The Thunder continued to make things competitive in the fourth. After McConnell’s fadeaway dropped and earned a 97-90 lead, Oklahoma City used a 7-2 spurt to trim the lead to two with 8:25 to go. When Brogdon and Brissett teamed up to stretch the lead back to seven, they responded with a 6-1 spree to cut Indiana’s lead to 105-104 at the 5:08 mark.

But, Indiana kept up the pressure, finding LeVert for five straight to stretch the gap to six with 4:41 to go. Brissett then extended the run after swatting Kenrich Williams’ layup attempt and finishing with an emphatic slam on the other end. Indiana held a 112-104 lead with 4:15 remaining.

Oklahoma City cut Indiana’s lead to 113-109 on Williams’ layup with 2:55 to go. After that, Indiana appeared to be on its way to an easy win. The squad tallied six straight to extend the lead to 118-109 with 1:49 to go.

However, the Thunder responded swiftly. Leading 118-113, Brogdon threw a pass to the left side, attempting to find a teammate. Ty Jerome intercepted the feed and found Maledon for a 25-foot triple that cut the Pacers lead to 118-116 with 24.5 seconds to go.

Yet, the veteran remained calm, making up for it immediately by sinking four straight at the charity stripe over the final 16.2 seconds.

"I was a little upset with myself over that turnover," he said. "(It was) a stupid play...so I knew I had to make free throws. I knew I had to do what I do best, get to the free-throw line, and knock down shots at the end of the game to redeem myself."

Indiana has a two-day break before taking on the Detroit Pistons on Saturday.

Inside the Numbers

Two additional players finished in double figures for the Blue & Gold. T.J. McConnell recorded 12 points and a game-high eight assists, while Edmond Sumner tallied 10.

Despite not having a true big man, Indiana set a new season-high in rebounds with 53 — 14 from the offensive glass.

The Pacers outscored the Thunder on the fast break, 35-11.

You Can Quote Me On That

"He's the consummate professional. You know, that next-man-up mentality. We needed him in a big way tonight...he’s a great kid." –McConnell on Brissett's stellar night

"He knows how to play. He has an instinct – a good instinct to play the game of basketball. He has a good feel out there. I thought he made the right choices on offense and he was very active on defense. He played a great game." –Bjorkgren on Brissett

"I'd be lying if I said there wasn't more pressure to carry the team offensively. I think it's about just doing it the right way – not forcing shots, not taking other people out of rhythm by over-dribbling, or making bad plays out of selfishness." –Brogdon on the increased pressure of scoring with other players sidelined

Stat of the Night

The trio of Brogdon, LeVert, and Brissett combined for 80 of Indiana's 122 points. Brissett set a new career-high in nearly every major statistical category except assists and 3-point field goals made.

Noteworthy

  • The Pacers have won three straight home matchups against the Thunder and six of the last eight at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
  • The squads will play again in Oklahoma City on May 1. Indiana will be looking to sweep the season series for the second consecutive time.
  • Indiana captured its 10th win this season at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

Up Next

The Pacers return to action on Saturday, April 24, when they wrap up a three-game homestand against Jerami Grant and the Detroit Pistons at 7:00 PM ET.

Tickets

A limited number of tickets for all remaining Pacers home games are now on sale. Single Game Tickets »   Health & Safety Guidelines »





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