Thunder finish preseason with win over HornetsOct 22, 2010 - 3:50 AM By JEFF LATZKE AP Sports Writer
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- The Oklahoma City Thunder got their starting lineup together just in time for one tune-up before the regular season.
Kevin Durant had 19 points and eight assists, Russell Westbrook added 17 points and seven assists and Oklahoma City finished the preseason with a 101-86 victory over the New Orleans Hornets on Thursday night.
Nenad Krstic played for the first time this preseason following surgery on his right index finger and Thabo Sefolosha returned after three games out with a jammed right pinkie, giving the Thunder (4-3) the same starting five they used in 76 games last season.
"It was just like we pretty much picked up where we left off," Sefolosha said. "I think it was pretty easy to get back out there and just play with those guys."
Krstic was 4 for 7 and scored eight points in just under 24 minutes. He had a dunk, two layups, went 1 for 4 on his jumpers and missed his only free throw. He and Sefolosha each played with wraps on their injured fingers.
"Everything was smooth. It felt like he'd been out there for the whole preseason," Durant said. "Of course, he's going to get a little tired. He hasn't played. But it really didn't show too much. He came out and played pretty well."
Three-time All-Star Chris Paul didn't travel with the Hornets (1-6), who also rested starting center Emeka Okafor and played Peja Stojakovic for only a few minutes in the third quarter.
David West scored 24 points for New Orleans and Jason Smith had 12.
"We played against the Hornets without Chris Paul, so obviously it makes a big difference, but I think we were good on the defensive end," Sefolosha said. "Everybody was talking and getting back to right where we were pretty much last year."
The regular season opens Wednesday night for both teams, with the Thunder hosting the Chicago Bulls and New Orleans hosting the Milwaukee Bucks.
The Hornets trailed by 15 at halftime and by double digits for most of the second half, pulling to 63-53 after West scored 10 of his team's first 15 points of the third quarter. It didn't get closer until rookie Quincy Pondexter followed D.J. Mbenga's three-point play with a fast-break layup with 3:18 left in the game to make it 87-78.
Daequan Cook hit a 3-pointer as Oklahoma City scored the next seven points to push its advantage back to 16 and put the game away.
"We are getting there," West said. "We have the right intensity. There are just some things we need to work on as a team."
Smith had six points in an 11-0 second-quarter comeback by New Orleans that cut the lead to three, but Oklahoma City immediately responded with a 16-1 surge. D.J. White's right-handed jam on the fast break put the Thunder up 47-29. At that point, Oklahoma City had an 18-0 advantage in fast-break scoring.
Serge Ibaka (right wrist), Cole Aldrich (right shoulder) and Nick Collison (left knee) were sidelined for the Thunder, and Sefolosha said he's not fully healed.
"It's mostly catching the ball right now. It's tough," he said. "I've got a big thing around my finger, which doesn't allow me to use it as much as I'd like to. It's going to be like that, I guess, for a few weeks. Hopefully not too long."
NEW ORLEANS 86
OKLAHOMA CITY 101 FINAL
Oct 21 10:27 PM
NEW ORLEANS 58
OKLAHOMA CITY 72 END, 3RD QTR
Oct 21 9:51 PM
NEW ORLEANS 38
OKLAHOMA CITY 53 HALFTIME
Oct 21 9:13 PM
NEW ORLEANS 17
OKLAHOMA CITY 27 END, 1ST QTR
Oct 21 8:39 PM
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