Originally Published: Feb 3, 2010 9:49 PM CDT
Recap | Box Score
Oklahoma Sports Staff Writer
NEW ORLEANS – Russell Westbrook played the hero with time winding down to clinch a 103-99 win for the Oklahoma City Thunder and snap a 10-game losing streak to the New Orleans Hornets.
With the Thunder (28-21) up by two points and less than one minute remaining, Westbrook pulled down a key offensive rebound that allowed Oklahoma City to drain the clock. He then hit a clutch shot with less than 15 seconds remaining to extend the Thunder’s lead to four. The Hornets (26-23) scored on their next possession, but Kevin Durant hit two free throws to seal the victory.
Durant finished with a game-high 30 points, his 23rd consecutive game with 25 or more points. He has now scored more than 25 points in 43 games this season. He accomplished the same feat 42 times all of last season.
Westbrook finished with one of his best performances of the season. He scored 26 points, dished out 10 assists and pulled down eight rebounds, while committing only two turnovers.
The Thunder needed Durant and Westbrook’s offensive output to hold off a late push by the Hornets, who were playing without All-Star point guard Chris Paul. OKC built a lead of as much as 12 points, but New Orleans clawed all the way back to take its first lead of the game 95-94 late in the fourth quarter. Oklahoma City responded with a 7-2, and Durant’s free throws iced the game.
The Thunder allowed New Orleans to hang around because of costly turnovers throughout the game. OKC committed a total of 18 turnovers and the Hornets turned those into 23 points. OKC was able to counteract its turnover woes by shooting 58 percent from the field and going 14-of-17 from the free-throw line.
The Hornets finished shooting 45 percent from the field, but made only eight of 23 attempts from beyond the 3-point line. Marcus Thornton led New Orleans with 22 points, while Peja Stojakovic and David West each added 15.
The Thunder’s win comes one night after it defeating the Atlanta Hawks at home, marking the second time this season OKC has won games on back-to-back nights. The Thunder has now won four games in a row and is seven games over .500 for the first time since moving to Oklahoma City. It will try to keep its winning streak going at 9:30 p.m. Saturday against Golden State.
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