Sabonis has triple-double by half; Pacers top Thunder 152-95

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(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Domantas Sabonis had a triple-double in the first half and the Indiana Pacers flirted with the most lopsided victory in NBA history before beating the Oklahoma City Thunder 152-95 on Saturday night.

Sabonis finished with 26 points, 19 rebounds and 14 assists, and the Pacers scored their most points in a game since joining the NBA in 1976.

They led by 67 points with 4:12 remaining, before the Thunder scored the game’s next 10 points. The NBA’s largest victory margin remains 68, set by Cleveland against Miami in 1991.

The Pacers’ previous record was 150 points against Denver in 1982. Indiana shot 65.5% from the field — the highest percentage for an opponent in Thunder history.

Sabonis returned after missing six straight games with a sore lower back. He made 10 of 13 shots and had a career-high assist total.

He clinched the triple-double on an assist to Doug McDermott two minutes before halftime. He finished the first half with 22 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists for his seventh triple-double of the season the 11th of his career.

He joined Nikola Jokic and Russell Westbrook (twice) as the only players with triple-doubles before halftime since the play-by-play era began in 1997-98, according to Elias.

The Thunder got Sabonis on draft night in 2016, then sent him to the Pacers the next year in the deal that brought Paul George to Oklahoma City. Sabonis showed why Thunder general manager Sam Presti is considered one of the best talent evaluators in the business.

McDermott added a career-high 31 points for the Pacers, who entered Saturday’s game in ninth place in the Eastern Conference after losing two straight.

Moses Brown scored 16 points for the Thunder, who have lost 19 of their past 21 games.

Indiana led 82-46 at halftime, the most points Oklahoma City has ever allowed in a half. Indiana shot 70% before the break, including 61% from 3-point range.

The Pacers poured it on in the third quarter, scoring 44 more points to take a 126-70 lead. They surpassed their previous season scoring high of 141 points on a dunk by Amida Brimah with 5:30 remaining and set their NBA scoring record on a 3-pointer by Cassius Stanley in the final minute.

TIP-INS

Pacers: Guard Malcolm Brogdon sat out after injuring his right hamstring on Thursday. … Made their first six shots to take a 14-4 lead. … Shot 65.2% in the first quarter to take a 42-29 lead. … McDermott scored 16 points in the first quarter.

Thunder: Guard Charlie Brown Jr. got the start and scored eight points. He’s on a 10-day contract. … Made just 8 of 38 3-pointers and 11 of 23 free throws. … Recent acquisition Gabriel Deck had eight points and 10 rebounds in 24 minutes.

UP NEXT

Pacers: Visit the Washington Wizards on Monday.

Thunder: Host the Phoenix Suns on Sunday.

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