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Vitals: Hornets at Thunder

Vitals: Hornets at Thunder Vitals: Hornets at Thunder

Originally Published: Jan 6, 2010 12:24 PM CDT

Gerald Goodridge
Oklahoma Sports Staff Writer

New Orleans Hornets (16-16) at Oklahoma City Thunder (19-15)
Wednesday, January 6, 2010, 7:00 p.m. CST
Ford Center, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Game 35 of 82

Anticipated Starting Lineups

Hornets
Thunder
PGChris Paul
20.1 PPG, 10.5 APG
Russell Westbrook
16.4 PPG, 5.1 APG
SGDevin Brown
10.9 PPG, 3.0 RPG
Thabo Sefolosha
6.2 PPG, 5.5 RPG
SFPeja Stojakovic
11.2 PPG, 3.5 RPG
Kevin Durant
28.4 PPG, 6.9 RPG
PFDavid West
17.3 PPG, 7.4 RPG
Jeff Green
14.1 PPG, 5.9 RPG
CEmeka Okafor
10.7 PPG, 10.0 RPG
Nenad Kristic
8.4 PPG, 5.0 RPG

Injuries
Oklahoma City: G/F Kyle Weaver (shoulder, out), G Kevin Ollie (knee, day-to-day).
New Orleans: F/C Ike Diogu (knee, out), F/C Sean Marks (leg, out).

Where to find it...
On TV: KSBI-HD
On Radio: Thunder Radio Network

What you need to know...
If you look at the box score from Oklahoma City’s game against Chicago, they shouldn’t have won the game. The Thunder only had three players score in double-digits, while Chicago only had four that didn’t score in double-digits, but the defense got it done again for Oklahoma City. The swarming defense forced the Bulls into a 35-99 shooting performance, and will need to continue that domination to hold off the New Orleans Hornets.

The New Orleans Hornets have yet to decide who they are this season and that has cost them dearly on their way to a .500 record. They have beaten some of the west’s top teams in Dallas and Denver, but dropped some puzzling games to New York and Sacramento, but may have finally turned the corner. They are riding a three-game win streak over Miami, Houston and Utah during which they’ve found a way to win close contests.

Who to watch...
Kevin Durant broke his streak of seven-straight 30-point games against Chicago, but it was anything less than disappointing. The young star scored 25 points, brought in eight rebounds and three assists, but wasn’t even the game’s top performer; that honor went to Russell Westbrook. The second year point guard’s 29 points were only five points away from his career high, all while dishing out six assists.

Despite the Hornets struggles, Chris Paul continues to be one not only of the NBA’s best point guards, but flat out best players. The fifth-year guard is averaging a double-double a game, and is coming off a 30 point, 19 assist, 9 rebound game against the Nuggets, one assist shy of his first 20-20 game. But the man with the toughest matchup of the night is forward David West. The power forward is tasked with trying to defend Jeff Green, who is only 15 pounds lighter but twice as quick.
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