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Vitals: Pacers at Thunder

Vitals: Thunder at Pacers Vitals: Thunder at Pacers

Originally Published: Jan 9, 2010 1:9 PM CDT

Stephany Speck
Oklahoma Sports Staff Writer

Indiana Pacers (11-24) at Oklahoma City Thunder (19-16)
Saturday, January 9, 2010, 7:00 p.m. CST
Ford Center, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Game 36 of 82

Anticipated Starting Lineups

Pacers (Away)

Thunder (Home)


Earl Watson
7.1 PPG, 3.9 APG
Russell Westbrook
16.2 PPG, 3.0 APG


Luther Head
9.0 PPG, 1.8 RPG
Thabo Sefolosha
6.1 PPG, 5.5 RPG


Danny Granger
24.1 PPG, 6.1 RPG
Kevin Durant
28.4 PPG, 6.9 RPG


Troy Murphy
14.1 PPG, 8.9 RPG
Jeff Green
14.2 PPG, 5.9 RPG


Roy Hibbert
11.0 PPG, 5.9 RPG
Nenad Kristic
8.5 PPG, 5.0 RPG

Oklahoma City: SF Kevin Durant (ankle, questionable), G/F Kyle Weaver (shoulder, out), G Kevin Ollie (knee, out), SF Matt Harping (knee, out).
Indiana: PG Travis Diener (toe, out), C Jeff Foster (back, questionable), PF Tyler Hansbrough (ear, questionable).

Where to find it...
On TV: FSN-Oklahoma
On Radio: Thunder Radio Network

What you need to know...
The Thunder continues its four-game homestand Saturday and is playing for more than just its 20th win. The team is four wins shy of reaching 24--the total number of wins they recorded last season. Not only does the young, developing team have a chance to surpass last season’s record, they’re also contenders for the playoffs. Each game from this point on is weighted with those goals. The Thunder will have to find a way to maintain high-energy play through the end of the fourth quarter, a feat they failed to accomplish in Thursday’s loss against the Hornets.

The Pacers have beaten the Thunder the last four times the teams have met, but have struggled mightily in away games this season. Indiana’s only 3-15 on the road and have haven’t had an away-game win since Dec. 12. The Pacers may be playing with new confidence with the return of two key players in Danny Granger and Troy Murphy.

Who to watch...
Kevin Durant is again the player to watch, as he continues to lead his young team. He’s averaging 28.4 points per game. He’s shooting 47.8 percent from inside the arch and hitting 86.9 percent of his free throws. His supporting cast is shooting well, too. Jeff Green had 20 points in Wednesday’s loss against New Orleans and Russell Westbrook’s had 101 assists in the last 12 games.

The Pacers were reenergized in their last game with the return of Granger and Murphy. Granger, coming off a heel injury which disabled him for 16 games, scored 19 points against the Timberwolves. Murphy, who was absent for four games after spraining his ankle, had 21 against Minnesota. While the performances weren’t enough to hold off the Timberwolves, the Pacers will be playing with two guys eager to see the hardwood. It could help shift the momentum of a team playing under the black cloud of a season-high, eight-game losing streak.
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