Last night was all about Kobe and his return to action after months away following his torn Achilles. But lost in the mayhem was a match-up between two of the league’s best teams: the Indiana Pacers and Oklahoma City Thunder.
In an early evening affair, the East-leading Pacers traveled south to take on the Kevin Durant and the Thunder. It had all the potential to be a classic match-up, but the Pacers were also coming off a brutal stretch in which they got some huge wins in Portland and just the night before in San Antonio.
The travel and tough competition turned out to be too much for the Pacers, as the Thunder jumped out to a big lead after the 1st quarter, extended the lead even further in the 2nd and coasted the rest of the way for a 118-94 victory.
Leading the way for OKC was, unsurprisingly, the dynamic duo of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. Durant finished with 36 points, 10 rebounds and 5 assists, while Westbrook had 26 points, 7 rebounds and 13 assists.
One of those 13 assists from Westbrook was even good enough to snatch the honors for Pass of the Night.
Late in the 1st quarter, Westbrook picked up a rebound and dashed up the court. The Pacers got back well in transition, however, so he didn’t have a clear path to the basket. But a clear path isn’t necessary for the daring young point guard, and he slashed into the lane anyways. After George Hill stepped up to cut him off, Westbrook spotted Serge Ibaka charging into the paint, and fed him for a layup with a sweet no-look pass.
If you have any suggestions for a pass we should consider, contact me on Twitter (@jmaloney9) or by email at maloneyj(at)xavier.edu.