Even with Malcolm Brogdon, Myles Turner, TJ Warren and Jeremy Lamb all out, the Indiana Pacers were the favorites for their Saturday night matchup with the Oklahoma City Thunder. But while most expected they would still win, no one could have predicted what actually happened.
The Pacers jumped out to a double-digit lead within three minutes, led by as much as 67 at one point in the fourth quarter and cruised to a 152-95 win. Yes, that's the real score. The 57-point margin gave the Pacers the biggest road win in NBA history, and the second-biggest win in franchise history.
It's worth checking out the lead tracker for this one just to get a sense of how thoroughly the Pacers controlled the game. Just look at how small the lines are on the graph so that it could get all the way up to 70. Completely absurd.
As you can surely guess, there were a number of big performances on the Indiana side. Doug McDermott tied his career-high with 31 points, Caris LeVert went for 25 points and Oshae Brissett added 16 points, 13 rebounds and four blocks. But the real star of the show was Domantas Sabonis.
After missing six games due to a back injury, Sabonis returned to the lineup in impressive fashion. He put up a triple-double in the first half alone and finished with 26 points, 19 rebounds and 14 assists in just 30 minutes. His dribble-handoff game was giving the Thunder fits and freeing up McDermott and Co. for all sorts of open jumpers. And when he decided he wanted to score, Sabonis got whatever he wanted around the rim, where he shot 8 of 10.
Sabonis also got in on the history-making act, as he joined Russell Westbrook and Nikola Jokic as just the third player to record a triple-double by halftime since the league started tracking play-by-play data in 1998. He was also the only one to have a 20-point triple-double at the break.
The win snapped a mini two-game losing streak for the Pacers and improved their record to 30-33. It's been a disappointing season so far for the Pacers, but they're now four games up on the 11th place Chicago Bulls and in good shape to make the play-in tournament.