Hot-handed Durant scores 43, Thunder top HornetsFeb 3, 2011 - 6:38 AM Oklahoma City, OK (Sports Network) - Kevin Durant made 14-of-19 shots, including a 5-of-7 performance from beyond the arc, en route to 43 points to lift the Oklahoma City Thunder over the New Orleans Hornets, 104-93.
Durant also grabbed 10 rebounds and dished out five assists for the Thunder, who went 2-1 on their homestand. Jeff Green and Russell Westbrook chipped in with 12 and 10 points, respectively.
"Taking what the defense gave me," Durant said. "They played zone a bit, so I was able to get some threes but playing that midrange game, pulling up at the free throw line, getting into the lane a bit - once they started to help a little bit more I found my teammates. I've just got to do a better job of finding them and continue to work hard on my shots and my overall game."
David West finished with 20 points and 15 boards for the Hornets, who have lost three of four since a 10-game winning streak. Chris Paul played through a sprained left ankle and tallied 15 points and five assists.
Holding a 16-14 edge midway through the first quarter, the Hornets received a scare when Paul went down. Paul missed a runner in the lane and landed awkwardly on Serge Ibaka's foot. Paul couldn't get to the locker room under his own power.
The Thunder took advantage of Paul's absence by going on an 11-2 run. Nick Collison's jumper gave Oklahoma City a 25-18 edge with 2:39 left. It was 29-25 after 12 minutes.
Paul came back into the game midway through the second frame and at the end of a 10-2 New Orleans surge, which gave the visitors a 41-38 edge.
With 1:37 left in the half, Paul sparked an 8-0 run with a three-pointer. West capped the burst with a pair of free throws to make it 55-47, but Durant made a jumper before the break.
Oklahoma City, though, took control of the game with a big third quarter. The Thunder ripped off seven straight points early in the stanza to make it 56-56.
The Hornets kept it close before Durant took over. Holding a 75-72 lead, the Thunder got six straight points from Durant to end the quarter. A 55-percent shooting performance from Oklahoma City in the third gave them an 81-72 margin.
Quincy Pondexter got New Orleans within six, 88-82, with under 8 1/2 minutes to play. Durant had an answer, however, scoring the Thunder's next seven points. His three-pointer with over seven minutes remaining made it a 95-84 game.
The Hornets never got closer than 10 the rest of the way.
The Thunder took three of four games from the Hornets this season...Oklahoma City improved to 18-7 at home this season...The Thunder were without guard Thabo Sefolosha (knee)...Oklahoma City recalled rookie center Cole Aldrich from Tulsa of the NBA Development League on Wednesday...Ibaka had eight points and 12 rebounds for the Thunder, who shot 52.9 percent from the field...Pondexter ended with 10 points in defeat.
- NEW ORLEANS: 93
OKLAHOMA CITY: 104
Feb 2 10:23 PM
- NEW ORLEANS: 72
OKLAHOMA CITY: 81
End of 3rd
Feb 2 9:52 PM
- NEW ORLEANS: 55
OKLAHOMA CITY: 49
Feb 2 9:08 PM
- NEW ORLEANS: 25
OKLAHOMA CITY: 29
End of 1st
Feb 2 8:37 PM
- NEW ORLEANS: 0
OKLAHOMA CITY: 0
1st Quarter - 12:00
Feb 2 8:13 PM
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