Notebook: Thunder 100, Hawks 92

Posted Dec 19, 2012 11:16 PM

Matt Winkeljohn, for

THE FACTS: The rematch wasn't much like the first meeting Wednesday, when Kevin Durant scored 18 of his season-high 41 points in the fourth quarter after Russell Westbrook scored 21 of his 27 in the first half in the Thunder's 100-92 win over the host Hawks.

The Thunder (21-4), who were the Seattle SuperSonics prior to 2008, won their 12th straight to pull within two of the franchise record of 14 set by the Sonics in the 1995-'96 season.

They rode their superstars to avenge Atlanta's 104-95 upset win in Oklahoma City on Nov. 4. Durant (14-for-23 shooting, including 4-for-8 on treys) had 13 rebounds and Westbrook 11 assists.

The Hawks (15-8) were coming off an overtime win in Washington a night earlier. They're now 4-1 in the second game of back-to-backs.

Save a few minutes late in the third quarter and a couple more in the fourth, payback was miserable for the Hawks as they lost their second straight home game to a team from the West. Golden State won 115-93 in Philips Arena on Saturday.

Westbrook led the Thunder to a 55-41 halftime lead, yet he missed all four of his shots in the third quarter when the Hawks closed the period with a 12-2 run.

Anthony Tolliver scored the first three points of the fourth quarter to draw Atlanta within 73-69 before Durant and Westbrook re-entered. Durant finished 6-for-9 from there, including 3-for-5 on 3-pointers, and added three free throws and five rebounds to put the game away.

Atlanta point guard Jeff Teague led Atlanta with 19 points and nine rebounds, but he and his teammates had fits with Westbrook early and Durant late. Josh Smith had a double-double for the home team with 17 points and 12 rebounds, and Al Horford and reserve guard Lou Williams scored 13 each for Atlanta.

Serge Ibaka grabbed 14 rebounds for Oklahoma City, which had just Durant and Westbrook score in double figures.

QUOTABLE: "They were giving Russell jump shots in the first half, and he helped us get out to a good lead. Then, things opened up for me in the second half (28 points) and ... I just started taking shots (10-for-16). I took some questionable ones, but my teammates want me to do it. My teammates wanted me to shoot tonight."
-- Durant, whose career high is 51 points.

THE STAT: +8 -- Each team made 36 shots and nine 3-pointers. The difference came at the free throw line, where Oklahoma City went 19-for-20 to Atlanta's 11-for-17.

Durant (9-for-10 from the line) and Westbrook (8-for-8) took 18 of the Thunder's 20 free throws. Small surprise. Together, they outscored all of their teammates 68-32, and took 44 of OKC's 84 shots.

TURNING POINT: The Hawks pulled within 85-80 as late as the 5:16 mark in the fourth when Lou Williams stroked a 3-pointer, and Atlanta had two chances to pull closer. Durant had a turnover after the Williams shot, but Kyle Korver quickly turned it back over.

After Ibaka missed a jumper and Atlanta rebounded, Williams missed a quick jump shot and following a defensive rebound by OKC's Kendrick Perkins, Durant worked his way around a screen and was wide open at the top for a 3-pointer and an 88-80 lead with 4:26 to go.

The Hawks came no closer than seven points after that.

QUOTABLE II: "It seemed like as the game wore on, we wore down. ... They're a very talented team. Durant is as good as there is in the league. Russell Westbrook is one of the top point guards in the league. You really have to be on the money with your coverage on them."
-- Hawks coach Larry Drew

HOT: Westbrook shot 7-for-13 in the first half, and made all six of his free throws while adding four assists, three rebounds and two steals. . . . Ibaka is averaging 14 rebounds per game over the past three.

NOT: Horford had 23 points and 12 rebounds in the Hawks' upset of the Thunder last month, but he shot just 5-for-14 Wednesday with six rebounds. He's 7-for-25 in the past two games (28 percent).

ROOKIE REPORT: The Thunder assigned rookie guard DeAndre Liggins and rookie forward Perry Jones to Tulsa of the D-League. ... Guard John Jenkins played 5:56 for Atlanta Wednesday, ostensibly because of the absence of injured guard Devin Harris (sore left foot). Jenkins did not attempt a shot and had an assist and a turnover.

NOTABLE: Harris missed the game while dealing with a left foot injury suffered a night earlier in the Hawks' overtime win in Washington. His status for Friday's game in Philadelphia is unknown. ... With five offensive rebounds (10 total), Hawks reserve center Zaza Pachulia moved into eighth place in franchise history with 1,178 to Cliff Levingston's 1,177.

UP NEXT: For the Thunder, Thursday @ Timberwolves, Tuesday @ Heat, Thursday vs. Mavs. For the Hawks, Friday @ 76ers, Sunday vs. Bulls, Wednesday vs. Pistons.