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Westbrook continues impressive run as Thunder beat Hornets

Dec 27, 2014 - 3:42 AM Oklahoma City, OK ( - Russell Westbrook's 29-point outing, his career-best 11th straight game with 25-plus, helped the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 98-75 win over the Charlotte Hornets.

Westbrook had to take a bulk of the scoring load once again because his star teammate, Kevin Durant, sat for a fifth consecutive game due to a sprained ankle.

Serge Ibaka scored 13 points with a season-high 14 rebounds and Anthony Morrow chipped in 11 points for Oklahoma City, which won for a second straight day after a two-game skid. The Thunder were coming off a 114-106 win over San Antonio on Christmas.

"We talked about playing every night, playing with a defensive brand every night. Back-to-back games now... I was proud of our defensive effort," Thunder coach Scott Brooks said.

Brian Roberts paced the Hornets with 17 points off the bench and Marvin Williams added 11 points in a reserve role.

Charlotte had its season-high four-game winning streak snapped and dropped its eighth straight game in the series.

Westbrook had a productive first half, scoring 19 points to help his team take a comfortable lead into the locker room at the break.

Charlotte's Cody Zeller opened the scoring with a jumper, then Westbrook scored six points during a 9-0 burst for the Thunder. Westbrook found Ibaka for a 3-pointer later in the frame to extend the lead to double digits and Oklahoma City entered the second up 33-24.

"They're so good defensively, we just had trouble in the first quarter making shots," Charlotte coach Steve Clifford said. "We played a very good team and they played well."

The Thunder then scored the first eight points of the second, and Westbrook's jumper with over four minutes to go in the quarter giving Oklahoma City a 53-34 cushion and it led 59-40 at halftime.

Oklahoma City was held scoreless for the first 3:51 of the third but Charlotte could not take advantage, scoring just four points over that span.

Westbrook scored six straight points during a 17-4 run that started with Ibaka's jumper that ended the scoring drought, with the Thunder opening up a 76-49 lead at the end of the spurt.

Morrow's trey capped the scoring in the quarter and helped the hosts to an 81-56 lead entering the fourth.

Game Notes

Hornets guard Lance Stephenson missed his fifth straight game with a pelvis injury ... Ibaka had four of his team's 10 blocks ... Oklahoma City shot 41 percent from the floor and held Charlotte to 28.7 percent shooting ... The Thunder had a 44-24 advantage in the paint.