Thunder blow past Hornets, 100-79

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 1, 2012 at 11:02 pm •  Published: December 1, 2012
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NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Russell Westbrook intercepted Ryan Anderson's inbounds pass, immediately pulled up for a 3-pointer that he nailed, blew on the tips of his pistol-shaped hands, then emphatically jammed both hands into the imaginary holsters on his hips.

Westbrook's gun-slinging mentality is in full swing, serving as a perfect complement to Kevin Durant's habitually prolific performances and making the Oklahoma City Thunder a blowout machine.

Durant scored 20 points, Westbrook added 18 points, 10 assists and three steals, and the Thunder won their fifth straight game, 100-79 over the struggling New Orleans Hornets on Saturday night.

"Russell was really good on the ball," Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. "I thought he had one of his better games; he's had a bunch of them lately on both ends of the floor. And Russell has the ability to do that. There's not a lot of guys in this league that can impact a game defensively and offensively like he has."

The Thunder stars did all of their work in first three quarters, resting for the final period after helping their club build a 27-point lead. After they left, the lead got as large as 29 as Oklahoma City cruised to a fourth-straight, double-digit victory — a span in which they've throttled opponents by an average margin of 25 points.

"As you can see right now, we're rolling," said Kevin Martin, who added 19 points in a reserve role. "We're just playing together, sharing the ball, playing defense, trusting each other on both ends of the court. Everybody's playing at a high level right now."

Nick Collison added 12 points for Oklahoma City, which has won nine of 10.

Anderson had 21 points and 10 rebounds for New Orleans, but was only 3 of 11 on 3-point attempts, normally his strength. Robin Lopez added 12 points and Roger Mason Jr. 11 for the Hornets, who have lost nine of 10.

"I thought we competed. We just didn't play smart — silly turnovers, defensive lapses," Hornets coach Monty Williams said. "A lot of this falls on my shoulders. You have to get guys ready to play. You have to help them believe."

Oklahoma City outshot the Hornets 50.6 percent (40 of 79) to 37 percent (30 of 81) and outscored New Orleans inside 52-34. The Thunder pushed the pace at every chance until the game was out of reach, scoring 18 fast-break points to the Hornets' 4.

"I put a big emphasis on myself to come out every night and defend," Westbrook said. "We did a good job of making them miss and getting out on the break to get easy points."

Playing without top overall pick Anthony Davis (left ankle) for a seventh straight game, the Hornets tried in vain to keep pace by shooting frequently from long range, which backfired. New Orleans finished 6 of 24 from 3-point range.

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