Erik Horne recaps last night’s Thunder/Pacers showdown: “George’s foul trouble could have spelled trouble for the Thunder. Instead, Oklahoma City powered on to its best all-around game of the early season, a 114-96 win against the Pacers. Russell Westbrook had 28 points, 16 assists and 10 rebounds for his second triple-double in four games, and Carmelo Anthony had his first double-double as a Thunder player with 28 points and 10 rebounds.”
Royce Young on Paul George facing his former team: “It was great. It was great to see everybody,” George said. “It was all smiles on my end, from players to training staff to coaches. It was all smiles. It was great seeing those guys. I enjoyed my time with them, but people move on, players move on, it is what it. I’m happy where I’m at now.”
Brett Dawson recaps the night for Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis: “That might not have gone over well, but Sabonis and Victor Oladipo — traded to Indiana in the June deal that brought Paul George to Oklahoma City — got a warm greeting from the fans at The Peake when they were introduced with the Pacers’ starting lineup. And then Oladipo did his best to upset the fans who cheered that introduction. He finished with 35 points on 11-of-18 shooting, making 5 of 8 3-pointers and all eight of his free-throw attempts.”
Ben Rohrbach (Yahoo) on Pacers coach Nate McMillan suggesting Paul George wasn’t a leader in Indiana: “You have to be yourself, and not try to be something that you’re not. I think Paul just wanted to play. The leadership, and the captain, and all of that? Sometimes people put you in that position because of your status. I think his thing was, ‘You take care of you, and I take care of me. Get yourself ready to play.’ Going to OKC, he’s back in that role of — I play. The leader is going to be Westbrook. I can go here and play.”
Elias with an interesting factoid from last night: “Russell Westbrook’s 28 points, 10 rebounds, and 16 assists will get most of the headlines, but Oklahoma City also got notable contributions from fellow starters Carmelo Anthony (28 pts, 10 reb) and Steven Adams (17 pts, 11 reb) in its 114–96 home win over Indiana. The last time the Thunder franchise had three starting players contribute at least 15 points and 10 rebounds in a game, the team was playing its final game as the Seattle SuperSonics. Rookie Kevin Durant led the way with 42 points and 13 rebounds, while Jeff Green (27 pts, 10 reb) and Nick Collison (16 pts, 13 reb) also had big games in a 126–121 win at Golden State on April 16, 2008.”
Jack Maloney (CBS) on NBA rules messing with Russell Westbrook’s free throw percentage: “I used to shoot and walk back behind the 3, and I’m not allowed to do that because of this new rule. I’ve been doing that since high school. Just gotta figure it out, figure out a different routine where I can take some time, take a deep breath, and figure it out. But I’ll be alright.”
Jenni Carlson on a young man that made a deep impact on Sam Presti’s summer: “Hooper Stover wasn’t sure he should write the letter much less send it. He desperately wanted the Thunder to sign Russell Westbrook to a contract extension — the 11-year-old couldn’t stand to see his favorite team lose another superstar — and as the summer rolled on with no deal done, he fretted. He worried. He felt like he had to do something. What if he wrote a letter to Sam Presti telling the Thunder general manager that he loved the team and wanted to help? What if he sent some of his allowance money, too?”
Around the League: The Spurs have assigned Tony Parker to the G-League…. The Pelicans reached a deal with Josh Smith…. David Stern thinks the NBA should revisit its marijuana rules…. The Eric Bledsoe vs Phoenix saga is getting messier…. LeBron James broke the Cavs’ all-time games played mark.