Game Preview: Thunder defend their home court against Pacers

On the first night of a back-to-back, the Thunder will look to pull off a win against the Pacers
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Although it appears they will be without Lu Dort and Darius Bazley on Saturday against the Indiana Pacers, the Oklahoma City Thunder will look to start their homestand off on a positive note. 

Over the month of April, the Thunder went 1-15. Now, in the final month of the regular season, Oklahoma City will look to carry some momentum into the offseason. Over the past month, Dort averaged 24.4 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.3 steals per contest on 46.3 percent from deep in April while Bazley averaged 18.5 points, 7.1 rebounds and 2.1 assists. With that in mind, OKC will have quite the void to fill if those two do end up not playing. 

ODDS:

The Thunder enter the day as 2.5-point underdogs to the Pacers and the total over/under is 225 points.

KEYS TO THE GAME:

The last time these two teams faced off was just a few weeks ago when the Pacers were without a true center on the roster. It ultimately didn't matter, as the Thunder fell by a final score of 116-122. The biggest differentiator in that matchup was 3-point shooting, as Indiana knocked down five more than Oklahoma City did. In general, neither of these teams are great at hitting shots from beyond the arc, as both are consistently in the bottom third of the league in that department. 

Similar to the prior contest, both teams could be without many their key players. The Pacers are battling injury issues and have played with a thin roster over the past few weeks. OKC currently has Dort and Bazley, their two offensive leaders over the past month, listed as out. When it comes down to it, the Thunder's ability to shut down Caris LeVert could be the biggest factor in Saturday's game.


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RECORDS:

Oklahoma City Thunder (21-42) vs. Indiana Pacers (29-33)

WHEN:

Saturday, May 1, 2021 at 7:00 PM CT

LOCATION:

Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, OK

TV/RADIO:

Bally Sports Oklahoma, NBA League Pass, 98.1 FM The Sports Animal

FINAL WORD:

Saturday will be the first night of a back-to-back for the Thunder as they kick off a 3-game stint in OKC at home. With just nine games remaining, it's always important to end the season on a high note. This is the first game they will play in this final month of the season.