Notebook: Thunder 119, Hornets 74



Posted Feb 27, 2013 11:58 PM

Randy Renner, for NBA.com

THE FACTS: Kevin Durant scored the third triple-double of his career and the Oklahoma City Thunder never trailed, led by at least 30 points most of the second half and clobbered the New Orleans Hornets 119-74. Durant didn't play in the fourth quarter and finished his night with 18 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists in just 27 minutes on the floor. Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook led all scorers with 29 points, he was 12-for-12 at the free throw line. Serge Ibaka added 18 for OKC on 9-for-11 shooting. Ibaka also pulled down seven rebounds.

The Hornets had to play short-handed. Neither rookie forward Anthony Davis nor guard Eric Gordon played. Gordon doesn't play the second game of back-to-backs and Davis has a sprained shoulder. It probably wouldn't have mattered. The Hornets managed to get just one guy into double figures, Ryan Anderson, starting for Davis had 14 points. Austin Rivers, starting in place of Gordon, had nine and Xavier Henry came off the bench to drop in nine also. The Hornets could never get much going on either end of the floor as they managed to shoot only 35.1 percent while allowing OKC to hit 55.3 percent.

Thunder sixth man Kevin Martin came off the bench to score 14 points on 5-for-7 shooting. Backup point guard Reggie Jackson scored a career-high 14 also. OKC center Kendrick Perkins didn't score a point but finished with four rebounds, four blocks and three assists. Derek Fisher and Ronnie Brewer made their Thunder debuts for this season. Brewer scored five points, grabbed four rebounds and stole the ball twice while Fisher went 0-for-4 from beyond the arc and didn't score. He did grab a steal and two rebounds.

QUOTABLE: "I'm happy with the way we competed tonight, I thought our defensive effort was outstanding for 48 minutes, we passed the ball very well and our overall effort was good for 48 minutes. We utilized Russell and KD in different areas of the floor."
--Thunder head coach Scott Brooks

THE STAT: In the third quarter the Thunder held the Hornets to just 19 percent shooting (4-for-21) and 15 points. Meanwhile OKC scored 34 points on 61.1 percent shooting (11-for-18).

TURNING POINT: The Thunder put the pedal to the metal on offense and turned the screws down on defense to start the third quarter. OKC sprinted out on a 20-7 run to start the quarter giving the Thunder a 30 point lead about halfway through the third quarter. It was cruise control from there.

QUOTABLE II: "You lose a game like that and you certainly don't feel good about it and yet it's part of our growth. But, I thought our guys played younger than their age and they need to learn in situations like that. We just didn't play well tonight."
-- Hornets head coach Monty Williams

HOT: The Thunder started the game hitting 58.8 percent of their shots (10-for-17)...Westbrook started 5-for-7 (16 points)...Anderson was 5-for-6 (3-for-4, 3-pointers) for 14 points in the first 16 minutes...OKC shot 56.4 percent in the first half...Martin was 5-for-6 and Ibaka 6-for-8 in the first 24 minutes...

NOT: Lopez was 1-for-6 in the first quarter...Vasquez was 2-for-9 in the first half...After starting the game 5-for-6 Anderson goes 0-for-5 the rest of the way...The Hornets were 9-for-35 (25.7 percent) in the second half.

INSIDE THE ARENA: The 96th consecutive sell-out inside Chesapeake Energy Arena.

GOOD MOVE: Brooks had been asked repeatedly if Fisher would replace Jackson as the Thunder backup point guard. Brooks would say only that Fisher would give the Thunder more options. When it came time to bring Westbrook out both Jackson and Fisher took the court, with Jackson playing the point and Fisher at shooting guard. Each played about six minutes in the first half.

BAD MOVE: Three times in the span of three minutes in the third quarter the Hornets tried to go inside on Perkins he blocked all three shots, two from Vasquez and one from Lopez.

NOTABLE: Durant's triple-double is the third of his career (all coming this season) and his second in the last four games...OKC is now 19-1 and has won 18 straight games against Western Conference opponents.

UP NEXT: For the Hornets, Friday vs. Detroit, Monday vs. Orlando, Wednesday vs. LA Lakers. For the Thunder, Friday @ Denver, Sunday @ LA Clippers, Tuesday vs. LA Lakers.