OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Russell Westbrook warned Kevin Durant that he was going to come off a pick-and-roll and then make a backdoor cut to the basket.
Thabo Sefolosha dived on the floor to save a possession for the Oklahoma City Thunder and get Durant in position to make another play. In a matter of minutes, Durant went from being in the neighborhood of a triple-double to being right on the doorstep. He made sure to finish it off before another early exit in the Thunder's latest blowout.
Durant had 18 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists — the last five coming in a 4-minute flurry in the third quarter — and the Thunder finished a perfect three-game homestand by routing the short-handed New Orleans Hornets 119-74 on Wednesday night.
"When you get a triple-double, people think it's just about the guy that gets it," Durant said. "Your teammates make so many great plays to put you in position to do that. So, it's not just me. My teammates made me look good tonight."
With Oklahoma City already up by 23, Durant went into assist mode to get his second triple-double since the All-Star break.
He assisted on Westbrook's two-handed dunk and a jumper by Serge Ibaka, then threw an off-target alley-oop that Westbrook was able to lay in. He followed that with a pass to Ibaka for a layup, turning to his teammates on the bench with a big smile afterward. After a timeout, he knew he needed just one more assist and passed up a shot near the elbow to instead set up a 3-pointer by Westbrook from the left corner.
On the next possession, Durant made a 10-foot jumper to make it 87-52 and then came out with the rest of the starters with 4:01 left in the third quarter.
"My teammates just did a great job of making me look good and really giving me that triple-double. I wasn't trying to force it or anything like that," Durant said. "I was just playing the game and it happened to come."
Ryan Anderson started in place of injured No. 1 overall draft pick Anthony Davis (shoulder) and led New Orleans with 14 points. The Hornets trailed by at least 29 in three of the four meetings with Oklahoma City this season, getting swept in the season series.
The margin of victory matched the largest of the season for Oklahoma City and was the biggest blowout the Hornets have suffered this season. It also marked the first back-to-back blowouts by at least 30 points by the Thunder franchise since 1994, when it was located in Seattle.
New Orleans was also without second-leading scorer Eric Gordon, who has been sitting out the second game of back-to-back sets this season while working his way back from a knee injury.
"That's part of the game. We don't make any excuses about not having guys," coach Monty Williams said. "If you get a chance to play in the NBA, you've got to cherish it. It's a blessing to play in the NBA. Not everybody looks at it that way.