Chris Paul and the Hornets received a warm ovation during pre-game introductions. Fans even oohed and aahed a few times when Paul schooled the Thunder’s defense.
But Oklahoma City fans let it be known they support the Thunder ... even if they’re the worst team in the NBA one month into the season.
The Hornets, who played two seasons in the Ford Center, romped to a 105-80 win Friday night inside their old home, extending the Thunder’s losing streak to 10 games.
"You don’t feel good about yourself when you’re struggling,” said Thunder coach P.J. Carlesimo. "But the answer is you have to work your way out of it. No one is going to feel sorry for us. If anything, it goes the other way. People don’t want to lose to a team that’s struggling.”
The offense continues to be a disaster. Oklahoma City trailed 60-39 at halftime in large part because it had more turnovers the first half (14) than field goals (12). Oklahoma City finished with a season-high 26 turnovers and shot 36.6 percent from the field.
The Hornets, who played two seasons in Oklahoma City as a temporary home after Hurricane Katrina, arrived in a slump but led by as many as 32 points.
"It was a very special night,” Paul said. "We wanted to give the fans a show. We’ve been struggling, and it felt good to come back to OKC. We really needed this win.”
See Page 3C for more on Friday’s game.