Today was definitely an emotional day for the Indiana Pacers and their fans. Paul George returned to Indianapolis for the first time since getting traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder in the off-season. The surreal feeling of seeing George in an opposing jersey for the first time was only made worse when the Pacers lost an extremely tight game to the Thunder.
The emotional game started off great for Indiana. They rode the solid play of Victor Oladipo to a five-point lead at the end of the first quarter. George stepped up his defense on Oladipo in the second quarter, which helped the Thunder secure a five-point lead at halftime. A fairly even third quarter gave both teams a chance to win the game heading into the fourth quarter.
The Pacers were down 11 points with only five minutes remaining, but a late surge made it a one-point game with 40 seconds left. Indiana got the defensive stop the needed in the final seconds, but Oklahoma City got two offensive rebounds before getting a tip-in basket. Paul George sealed the victory with a key steal before the Pacers could get up the potential game-tying shot. The Oklahoma City Thunder ultimately got a 100-95 victory after George made two late free throws.
The Pacers did a good job of shutting down their former superstar on the offensive side of the ball, but they simply had no answers for his excellent defense. Indiana will have a 16-10 record when they host the Detroit Pistons on December 15.