You have to feel for the New Orleans Hornets, especially if you were a fan during the Chris Paul/David West years. With both those guys gone, just about every season since has been devoted to rebuilding, and with both stalwart Eric Gordon and hotshot rookie Anthony Davis sidelined — well, it’s hard times in the Big Easy. Seldom did it look more so than in the third quarter, when the Thunder shut them down to the tune of 30-13, running a ten-point lead out to a 27-point lead and holding on to win 100-79.
The only OKC starter who got any minutes in the fourth quarter was Thabo Sefolosha, and he retired fairly quickly. The Thunder shot almost 51 percent, which always helps; nine of twelve players recorded at least one block, which helps even more. And there was another highly Westbrookish Russell Westbrook line: 18 points, 10 dimes, five boards, five turnovers, three steals. The Two Kevins split 39 points almost down the middle (Durant 20, Martin 19). And there’s Kendrick Perkins in double figures again, with ten.
Still, the Hornets had the game-high player: Ryan Anderson, who dropped in 21 points and retrieved 10 rebounds. Endless swats took care of New Orleans’ usually-formidable three-point game: only six of 24 treys fell in. The Bees weren’t that much better from inside the arc, either, shooting 37 percent. Local (to OKC, anyway) favorite Xavier Henry got some bonus time in a lost cause; he got four points in the last 11 minutes.
This is the last Thunder trip to New Orleans for the season. They’ll hang around tonight — wouldn’t you? — and will eventually find their way to Brooklyn, where on Tuesday Dem Nets propose to give them a much rougher time.