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Thunder 97, Pacers 75

The SportsXchange

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Indiana Pacers have to wait at least another night to win their first division title in nine years.

The Oklahoma City Thunder, meanwhile, continued to make their move to the top spot in the Western Conference.

The Thunder played spoiler for the Pacers in a 97-75 victory at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Friday night.

The Pacers didn't get any help from the Orlando Magic, either, because the Chicago Bulls beat them Friday.

The Pacers will get another chance to win the division when they play at Washington on Saturday.

The win pulled the Thunder even with the San Antonio Spurs for first in the Western Conference, but they own the tiebreaker between the two teams.

The Pacers had no answer for Oklahoma City's two All-Stars, Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. Durant scored 34 points and Westbrook added 24 points.

Center Roy Hibbert led the Pacers with 22 points. Pacers All-Star Paul George was held to eight points on 3-of-11 shooting.

The Thunder, who are a matchup problem for almost team in the league, blew the game open in the third quarter. The Thunder used a 10-2 run midway through the quarter take an 11-point lead.

The Pacers didn't go away, getting back to within three late in the quarter.

But the Thunder were never really threatened by the Pacers despite their run.

Up seven points at the start of the fourth quarter, the Thunder doubled their lead barely three minutes into the quarter. The more Durant shot, the more the Thunder pushed their lead up on the Pacers.

Oklahoma City eventually led by as many as 22 points.

The Thunder dominated the boards, grabbing 15 offensive rebounds The Pacers were only 2 of 21 on 3-pointers and held to eight points in the fourth quarter.

NOTES: Pacers forward Danny Granger had surgery on his left knee Thursday. Granger, who only played five games this season, is expected to be ready for the start of training camp, the Pacers announced. ... ESPN decided not to broadcast the Pacers-OKC game in favor of Miami-Charlotte despite the Heat's 27-game winning streak ending. "It's disappointing for me from a fan's standpoint," Pacers coach Frank Vogel said. ... Thursday's victory over San Antonio moved the Thunder in front of the Spurs for first in the Western Conference and also gave them the tiebreaker advantage. "It definitely would be a nice thing to get but it's not the end-all," Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. "We just want to keep playing good basketball. If we get it, great. If not, we feel like we can win on anybody's court."... The Pacers could have wrapped up the division if Brooklyn would have beaten Chicago on Thursday, but the Bulls came from behind to win. "It's okay, there's something to be said for doing it yourself," Vogel said.
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