For the second time in as many games, the Indiana Pacers parlayed a slow start into a blowout victory, today against the Oklahoma City Thunder, using a 34-13 second quarter to put the cap on the team's second straight win. The Thunder jumped up 14-7 thanks to six early points from Steven Adams. Indiana fought back, but ultimately lost the first quarter 23-22.
The Pacers slowly opened things up in the second quarter, using hot three point shooting to forge the way, hitting seven of their first 11 attempts, including a lights out quarter from Frank Gaines, who had 13 of his 17 points in the quarter. Indiana moved their advantage to 20 points at the break, and went up from there, eventually capping at 31 points early in the fourth quarter.
Oklahoma City would manage to win the fourth quarter, securing a pair of points in their loss as the Pacers took on five points for the second straight game, moving their point total up to 13 on the Summer League, which keeps them locked in 5th place pending Boston's performance in today's action.
Today would prove to be a key day for Willie Reed in his search for a potential roster spot. Without much question, he's been Indiana's brightest Summer League piece, and was on full alert today with a head-to-head match up with Steven Adams. Unfortunately for Reed, Adams had little difficulty getting the better of him most of the day. Reed was often beaten defensively by Adams's post moves, while limiting Reed's touches and effectiveness on the other end.
Reed played very well in help situations away from Adams, picking up a pair of blocks, but his best defense against Adams was fouling him, which paid off relatively well, with Adams shooting just 4-10 from the line today. Reed had just five points and five boards on the day and allowed Adams to come away with five offensive boards as part of eight total.
The Pacers did have five players reach double figures, led by Donald Sloan, who had 19. Sloan was pulling up tough three pointers throughout the game, going 4-5 from deep and 7-10 overall. Sloan also had six assists, but was dragged down by extensive carelessness with the ball. Sloan had five sloppy turnovers, most on the team, turning positives into negatives with ease and quickness.
IPFW product Frank Gaines's second quarter turned out to be the boost for Indiana in slowly pulling away from Oklahoma City. He had a Summer League high 17 points, hitting his first four shots, including tough looks and easy threes. Indiana's three point shooting was largely set up very well. Most of the Pacers' nine threes were solid, confident looks that found the bottom of the net today.
James Nunnally and Arinze Onuaku had solid all around games as well. Nunnally scored 12 points on 4-7 shooting, his two threes making him one of three Pacers to put in multiple triples. While Reed struggled against real NBA talent, Onuaku cleaned up in his play, coming up with 10 points and five boards on 5-7 shooting. The lone double double of the afternoon came from Kevin Jones, who put up a very nice 15 point, 12 rebound game. Jones was active around the glass, pulling in six of Indiana's 11 offensive boards, leading to 10 second chance points for the Pacers.
Indiana will have one more Summer League "regular season" game tomorrow at 3 ET against the Miami Heat before playing in the placement games on Friday. Indiana will need to win and get some help in order to have an opportunity to play for the Orlando Summer League Championship, which is what we're all really here for anyway.