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Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Indiana Pacers
NBA: Tuesday, November 12, Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, Indiana, 7:00 PM ET
The Oklahoma City Thunder blew an opportunity to upset the Milwaukee Bucks on Sunday, so they will try to avoid the second straight loss at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Tuesday. OKC will have a difficult task against the Indiana Pacers who are riding a three-game winning streak following a road victory at the Orlando Magic. Likewise, the Pacers have won six of their last seven games overall.
This will be the first clash of the season between Oklahoma City and Indiana. They split the series last season, as each team won and covered at home. Oklahoma City has won three of its last four meetings with Indiana, but the Pacers are 8-4 straight up in the previous 12 head-to-head duels in Indianapolis.
The Thunder failed to slow down the BucksOklahoma City was so close to upset Milwaukee as a 9-point home dog on Sunday. The Thunder led by six points at halftime, but they lost the third quarter 37-24. OKC dropped 39 points on the Bucks in the fourth quarter and it wasn’t enough to earn a victory. Despite shooting 49.5% from the field and 40.5% from beyond the arc, the Thunder allowed the Bucks to score 66 points in the paint and escape with a 121-119 victory. Also, the Bucks made 56.6% of their field goals, and Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 24 of his 35 points in the second half. Dennis Schroder led the Thunder with 25 points off the bench, while Shai Gilgeous-Alexander added 22 points along with six boards and six assists. Danilo Gallinari had 14 points on terrible 4-for-17 shooting from the field.
"We always fought back, and we didn't shoot the ball the way we usually do, especially me," Gallinari said. "It was a very good game. Unfortunately, we couldn't get it done."
Steven Adams didn’t play against the Bucks due to a knee injury and is listed as questionable for the clash with the Pacers. Adams is averaging 8.3 points and 10.1 rebounds per game this season. Gilgeous-Alexander and Gallinari will lead the way for the Thunder, while Dennis Schroder remains the 6th man. Oklahoma City is scoring 105.9 points per 100 possessions (21st in the league), allowing 104.1 in a return (11th).
The Pacers’ team effort brings successIndiana put on another strong performance in Orlando on Sunday, outlasting the Magic 109-102 as a 4.5-point out-of-towner. Six different players scored in double digits, and Domantas Sabonis led the way with 21 points, 16 rebounds, and seven assists. T.J. Warren and Malcolm Brogdon had 19 points each, while Doug McDermott added 18 points off the bench. The Pacers made 31 assists and shot 52.2% from the field including nine triples out of 20 attempts from deep. Likewise, they turned the ball over only nine times and outrebounded the magic (44-37).
"I thought both groups (starters and reserves) were solid, but you need your second group to play like these guys have been playing," Indiana coach Nate McMillan said. "We had good ball movement, our guys were sharing the ball and defending hard. When you do that, you're going to be tough to beat."
The Pacers have dropped only one of their last seven games despite struggling with injuries. Myles Turner (ankle), Jeremy Lamb (ankle), Goga Bitadze (concussion), and Victor Oladipo (knee) are all sidelined. In their absence, Sabonis, Brogdon, and Warren are running the show, while the Pacers’ second unit is doing a great job. Indiana is scoring 109.2 points per 100 possessions (9th in the league) while surrendering 105.8 in a return (12th).
The top supporting trends for this game, found on Covers.com, are: Oklahoma City:
- 2-5 ATS in the last seven outings following an ATS win
- 2-5 ATS in the last seven road games against a team with a winning home record
- 5-1-1 ATS in the last seven games overall
- 4-1 ATS in the last five games against a team with a losing record
- 6-2 ATS in the last eight contests against the Northwest Division
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The Pacers found their mojo after losing four of their first five games of the season. Malcolm Brogdon looks great at PG, and he’s a serious reinforcement for the Pacers whose offense play very well. Their defense is a slight issue without Myles Turner in the lineup, but the Pacers still have room for improvement on the defensive end. On the other side, the Thunder are certainly disappointed after a narrow loss to the Bucks. They play solid defense but struggle on the offensive end, so I expect them to have problems against the Pacers’ aggressive approach. Give me the hosts to cover.
Prediction: Indiana Pacers ATS
Full-Game Total Pick
Neither of these two teams plays at a fast pace. Oklahoma City records 101.3 possessions per 48 minutes (18th in the league), while the Pacers tally 99.1 possessions per 48 minutes (25th). Hereof, I expect to see a down-tempo basketball. Furthermore, neither side can pour from beyond the arc. The Pacers take 24.4 attempts from downtown per game which are the fewest in the league, while the Thunder takes 30.3 3-point attempts per outing (19th). The total has gone under in the previous five encounters between Oklahoma City and Indiana, and I’m looking for another low-scoring affair on Tuesday night.