Pacers Links: Pacers head home after rough night in OKC

Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The Pacers didn't have the defensive legs to slow down the Thunder on Sunday and now have to recharge quickly to prepare for the Heat at home on Tuesday.

It didn't take long to know it might be a long night for the Pacers in Oklahoma City on Sunday evening. After the Pacers turned the ball over on their first possession, Kevin Durant came down and drained his first shot to get the Thunder rolling early.

Durant's 14 first-quarter points set the tone for the game as the Pacers defense simply struggled to catch up all night. That league leading D is most effective by making opponents uncomfortable on the offensive end, but on Sunday they just weren't able to move the Thunder out of their comfort zone.

So the Pacers return home with a 3-2 record, having delivered a strong effort on the road in the first four games. Now it is time for some intensity back on the Fieldhouse floor when the Miami Heat arrive in Indy for a game on Tuesday night. The Pacers need to remain in business-trip mode to use Monday to focus on the Heat which is always tough after returning home from a long trip with family, friends, mail, laundry, etc. ready to greet you after an extended absence.

Fortunately, the idea of LeBron James waiting to greet the Pacers on Tuesday should be enough to push off those other distractions for another day.

I talked about all of the above on The Phil Naessens Show, so check it out here.

Check out the links:

Pacers at Thunder - Box score

Game Rewind: Pacers 94, Thunder 118 | THE OFFICIAL SITE OF THE INDIANA PACERS

Pacers can't match Thunder in 118-94 loss - Indy Star

Durant's 36 points lift Thunder past Pacers 118-94 - AP

Pacers close out monster trip in Oklahoma City - 1070 The Fan

Pacers learned much about themselves on trip - 1070 The Fan

OKC Thunder: Kevin Durant dishes out more than Paul George can handle | News OK

Post Game Grades: Thunder Demolish Pacers in OKC | 8 Points, 9 Seconds

Thunder final score: OKC dominates Pacers, 118-94 - Welcome to Loud City "Flirt" Pacers 94 Thunder 118 (The REAL reason the Pacers finally succumbed to boyz hollerin')

NBA scores 2013: Lakers fall in Kobe Bryant's return, Thunder thump Pacers -

Heat-Pacers set to renew their rivalry - AP

Toronto is set to send Rudy Gay to Sacramento in a cap-clearing move | Ball Don't Lie - Yahoo Sports

Report: Clippers close to adding Stephen Jackson to roster | ProBasketballTalk

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