Despite treacherous conditions from Tuesday's blizzard, an estimated crowd of 13,000 watched the Thunder defeat New Orleans 104-93 inside Oklahoma City Arena on Wednesday night. Official attendance was 17,849, snapping a streak of 12 straight sellouts. NO EASY TRIP The Hornets landed in Oklahoma City around 1 a.m. Wednesday. When the first team bus got stuck and the team had to switch to another bus, Chris Paul and Trevor Ariza threw snowballs at coach Monty Williams, who lightheartedly said he has yet to determine the players' fines. The team arrived at the Skirvin Hotel at roughly 2 a.m. It was the only flight to land at Will Rogers World Airport, which was closed for 20 hours due to weather. En route from New Orleans, pilots were said to have battled a 200 mile-per-hour crosswinds and ground gusts of 40 mph. SEFOLOSHA OUT Thunder guard Thabo Sefolosha sat out Wednesday and missed his third straight start with a sprained left knee. His status remains day-to-day. "He felt much better. He's getting close," Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. "He did more court work today and did more stuff, but the pain is still there." Next up for the Thunder is a game at Phoenix on Friday, followed by a game at Utah on Saturday. IMPORTANT VICTORY Wednesday's victory was particularly big because it gives the Thunder (31-17) the tiebreaker over the Hornets (32-19) if needed for playoff seeding. The Thunder won the regular-season series 3-1. "They're going to be a tough team to beat (in the playoffs)," Brooks said. "They've got a lot of skilled players, one of the best defensive players in the league (Emeka Okafor injured on Sunday). "We just wanted to play better on our home floor. We wanted to bounce back with a win. We've been pretty resilient after a loss and tonight was another step in that direction and never feeling sorry for yourself after a loss." MAYNOR HOLDS STEADY Reserve point guard Eric Maynor had nine points (3 for 5 from the field) and three assists in 21 minutes, including a stretch of 12 straight minutes after starter Russell Westbrook sat with four fouls with 7:52 left in the third quarter. "He really stepped up, controlled the game and found our shooters," Brooks said of Maynor. "I have confidence in Eric. He's a heady point guard. He's improving. That's not always easy, guarding Paul. Chris is crafty, strong and offensively he can get it going, but I thought Eric did a terrific job trying to stay in front of him." SERGE'S SURGE After playing limited minutes the previous two games, reserve forward Serge Ibaka had 12 rebounds, eight points and six blocked shots in 33 minutes. "He gave us good energy from the start," Brooks said. "I think his first three possessions he gave us three rebounds and that's what we want from him every night. I thought he was really good. He was active tonight, and that's what we need from him." ALDRICH RETURNS Rookie center Cole Aldrich was called up from the Tulsa 66ers of the NBA Developmental League. He won his first 14 games in his second assignment with the 66ers, prior to losing his finale at Maine last Sunday. With Tulsa, Aldrich has started all 19 games and averaged 10.2 points, 8.4 rebounds and 2.4 blocked shots in 29.2 minutes. He had three consecutive double-doubles and owns a 15-4 mark. "He had a good month," Brooks said. "We wanted to make sure he had a lot of opportunities to play a lot of minutes and he did well. We'll see what the next step is. I'm glad he's back and we're able to take a look at him up-close." PRACTICE CHANGES The Thunder canceled Tuesday's practice and Wednesday morning's game-day shoot-around. Several players still went to the practice facility Wednesday morning and the team had a 40-minute walk-through at Oklahoma City Arena at 4 p.m. "Certain guys couldn't get around their complex. The snow was really bad in their parking lots," Brooks said. "We just felt it wasn't safe for our guys to get there early in the day." BRIEFLY Starting center Nenad Krstic injured his right foot in the third quarter and will undergo an MRI on Thursday. … After shooting 52.9 percent (36 for 68) against the Hornets, the Thunder is now 12-1 when shooting 50 percent or better and 14-3 after a loss. … The Hornets shot 55.8 percent in the first half (24 for 43) in the first half and 32.5 percent (13 for 40) after intermission. "I thought our guys in the second played about as well as they can defensively," Brooks said. QUOTABLE "That's about as good as it gets." – Brooks on Kevin Durant scoring 43 points on 14-for-19 shooting (5 for 7 from 3-point range).