Paul George will again receive a harsh greeting as he returns to Indiana for the second time when the Oklahoma City Thunder visit the Pacers on Thursday. George was a four-time All-Star in seven seasons with Indiana before being traded in July 2017 in a deal that brought guard Victor Oladipo to the Pacers.
George was jeered loudly and often in last season's trip to Indianapolis when he scored only 12 points on 3-of-14 shooting in the Thunder's 100-95 victory. George recently missed three games with a right shoulder injury but had the ice wrap on his left shoulder after scoring 25 points in Wednesday's 108-96 home victory over the Brooklyn Nets. "I took another hit, this time to my left side and it kind of messed things up a little bit," George told reporters afterward. "But if it ain't broke, I'm gonna be out there playing. It's nothing that's that serious, just some bruising. But it's nothing I'm concerned about." The Thunder have won three of their past four games as they visit an Indiana squad that has dropped five of its last eight contests.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, FS Oklahoma, FS Indiana LINE: Pacers -1
ABOUT THE THUNDER (42-26): Point guard Russell Westbrook was in typical form during Wednesday's victory over the Nets as he had 31 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists for his 26th triple-double of the season. Westbrook has topped 20 points in six straight games, including four efforts of more than 30, while averaging 30.5 points during the stretch. George connected on 9-of-18 shots against Brooklyn after being 22-of-72 in a four-game stretch while being hampered by the right shoulder.
ABOUT THE PACERS (43-25): Center Myles Turner was 5-of-15 shooting while scoring 15 points in Tuesday's 103-98 home victory over the New York Knicks but he made less than 50 percent of his shots for the ninth straight appearance. "I've just got to hit shots. It happens," Turner told reporters of the stretch in which he is shooting 34.7 percent. "There's going to be times when I hit a lot of shots and times when I don't. I just have to keep shooting every day and hope they fall." Small forward Bojan Bogdanovic scored 24 points against the Knicks and has tallied 20 or more in 13 of the past 18 games.
1. The Thunder won both meetings last season.
2. Indiana G Tyreke Evans (personal reasons) will miss his third straight contest.
3. Oklahoma City F Markieff Morris (neck) will likely miss his second straight game.
PREDICTION: Pacers 111, Thunder 109 Bet Now
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