INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Wesley Matthews tipped in a basket with 1.8 seconds left and the Indiana Pacers rallied from an 19-point deficit to beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 108-106 on Thursday night.
Domantas Sabonis scored 26 points against his former team, and the Pacers won their second straight by erasing the Thunder’s lead in the final 15 minutes. Indiana’s magic number for clinching a playoff spot is one.
Paul George led the Thunder with 36 points in his second trip back to Indianapolis since a blockbuster trade in July 2017. Russell Westbrook added 19 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists but missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer.
George and the Thunder were in control most of the game.
Indiana crept back into the contest by closing the third quarter on a 16-5 run that included a 46-foot, buzzer-beating heave from Cory Joseph. They made it 88-83 when Sabonis hit the opening basket in the fourth.
After Oklahoma City appeared to steady itself with an 8-2 spurt, the Pacers charged back. They tied it on two free throws from Sabonis and took their first lead since the opening minutes when Myles Turner’s dunk made it 102-101 with 2:50 to go.
After Bojan Bogdanovic made it 104-101, George tied it with his sixth 3-pointer and broke the tie with two free throws.
Sabonis tied it back up with another layup with 57 seconds left. George turned the ball over twice and slipped while on defense during Indiana’s final possession, leaving Matthews the space to get free for the winning putback.
Matthews had 16 points and seven rebounds.
Thunder: Westbrook has 27 triple-doubles this season and 131 in his career. … Steven Adams had 17 points and eight rebounds. … Oklahoma City went 3-3 during a stretch in which they played five road games. … The Thunder fell to 6-5 on the second night of back-to-backs this season.
Pacers: Darren Collison had 17 points, six rebounds and seven assists. … The Pacers committed 16 turnovers. … Bogdanovic scored 23 points and extended his streak of consecutive games in double figures to 24 and his career best single-season total of 20-point games to 28. … Tyreke Evans missed his second straight game for personal reasons. Coach Nate McMillan said he expects Evans to travel with the team later this week.
Thunder: Hosts the Western Conference-leading Warriors on Saturday.
Pacers: Begin a crucial four-game road trip at Denver on Saturday.