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OKC Thunder Can’t Overcome Rocky First Half in Loss to Pacers

The Thunder had another big third quarter, but a slow start doomed them.
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The Oklahoma City Thunder could not find their rhythm until it was too late.

The Thunder fell to the Pacers 121-111 at Paycom Center on Tuesday. The loss was the Thunder’s first at home since January and snapped a nine-game home winning streak.

Tyrese Halliburton’s fast break layup put Indiana up 10 with just over two minutes left. After Mark Daigneault’s unsuccessful challenge on a Lu Dort foul with 45.6 seconds left, Oklahoma City’s hopes of a comeback were all but over.

Dort nailed a corner three to tie the game at 82 late in the third quarter. A couple of possessions later, Isaiah Joe made his second 3-pointer to give the Thunder their first lead.

Despite Oklahoma City’s 41-point third quarter, Indiana ended with an 8-0 run and took a seven-point lead into the final frame.

Dort’s steal and fast break dunk prompted Pacers coach Rick Carlisle to call a timeout 82 seconds into the second half. That cut the Thunder’s deficit to six as they continued to chip away.

The Pacers grew their lead to as much as 16 in the second quarter before taking a 58-46 lead into halftime. Myles Turner led the half in scoring with 15 points while adding two blocks and a steal.

Cason Wallace was the Thunder’s only player who played at least 10 first-half minutes to shoot 50% or better. Only Gilgeous-Alexander cracked 10 points in one of the Thunder’s worst scoring halves this season.

In his first start with the Thunder, Gordon Hayward never quite looked himself. He did not attempt a field goal until the third quarter and finished with nine points.

Indiana took an early lead, with Oklahoma City struggling to find a rhythm offensively. After shooting only 26.9% in the quarter, Oklahoma City took a five-point deficit into the second.

The Thunder will finish their four-game homestand on Thursday against the Dallas Mavericks.

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