Then the Thunder responded.
In a matter of mere minutes, a one-point deficit became 20. Oklahoma City closed the third quarter on a 15-5 run, then opened the final quarter with three consecutive 3-pointers in a 105-92 home victory over the Pacers at Chesapeake Energy Arena.
And the Thunder (32-25) were without reigning NBA MVP Kevin Durant, who is sidelined by a foot injury. Oklahoma City won its seventh consecutive game and snapped the Pacers’ three-game win streak.
Miles had scored 15 of his team-high 21 points in the third quarter for the Pacers (23-34), who trailed 65-64 with 4:32 remaining after his last basket, a 3-pointer.
Russell Westbrook responded with a 3-pointer, and the Thunder kept shooting and hitting from long range. Dion Waiters sank a pair of 3-pointers to end the third quarter, then added another after D.J. Augustin and Anthony Morrow hit from beyond the arc at the outset of the final quarter.
The Thunder quickly built a 23-point lead.
“We have to play better to beat a really good team in their building,” Pacers head coach Frank Vogel said in a TV interview on Fox Sports Indiana.
Oklahoma City enjoyed a 23-7 edge in fast-break points.
Westbrook finished with his third triple-double of the season, 20 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists. Serge Ibaka scored a game-high 23 points and grabbed 10 rebounds.
A Pacers bench that has been a tremendous advantage of late didn’t deliver this time. Backup guard Rodney Stuckey, coming off back-to-back 30-point games, managed just five on 2-of-8 shooting.
“They did a good job on Rodney Stuckey,” Vogel said of the Thunder turning him into a passer.
The Thunder reserves had a 45-30 scoring advantage.
Despite the loss, the Pacers have won six of eight and will spending much of the next two weeks at home at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. They play eight of the next nine in Indianapolis, beginning Friday night against the Cleveland Cavaliers (36-22).
The Pacers are two games behind the Miami Heat for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
Phillip B. Wilson can be found on Twitter (@pwilson24), Facebook and Google+.