There has been no hotter team in this young season than the Pacers, and no more noteworthy emergence than that of Paul George. Something in that combination apparently fueled Kevin Durant in Oklahoma City's drubbing of Indiana on Sunday night.
The Thunder star finished with 36 points (on 14-of-23 shooting), 10 rebounds and five assists as the Thunder rolled 118-94. George typically manages to slow down even the most skilled wing scorers, but he had no such luck containing Durant in a game that got away from the Pacers rather quickly.
And when Durant checked out for good with 3:58 left to play and the Thunder owning a 20-point lead, he turned to the media sitting behind the scorer's table and made one final statement.
“Write about that,” he howled.
It's unclear exactly what got Durant so riled, though he clearly homed in on his matchup with George and was perhaps looking to affirm his standing as the consensus second-best player in the NBA. Even with all of George's improvement -- the more polished handle, the baffling mid-range accuracy, the even heavier creative workload -- any claim of his advancement beyond Durant would be premature at the least. Yet because George is a terrific, rising player on an outstanding team, such claims are inevitably made. Durant unavoidably hears the chatter praising George and the Pacers, all while the Thunder thrive in relative quiet. I suppose Durant thought it time to make some noise, both through a declarative performance against an up-and-coming challenger and a punctuating remark to those who help craft the NBA narrative.