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Balanced Thunder Escape Hornets, Win 109-104 in OKC

Balanced Thunder Escape Hornets, Win 109-104 in OKC



The Thunder moved to 12-6 with a 109-104 victory over the Charlotte Hornets on Friday night in Oklahoma City. Six Thunder players scored in double-figures in the contest, led by 30 points, 12 rebounds, and 8 assists from Russell Westbrook. Dennis Schroder entered the starting lineup in place of the injured Terrance Ferguson (ankle) and Hamidou Diallo (ankle), contributing 23 points on 4-of-8 shooting from long range.

Despite outscoring the Hornets in each of the first three quarters, the Thunder allowed Charlotte to hang around and make it too interesting late. OKC took an 11-point lead with 11:47 to go in the fourth, but the Hornets responded with a 12-2 run to cut the Thunder lead to just one with 5:37 to play. After exchanging buckets for a few minutes, two Russell Westbrook free throws put the Thunder up 103-97 with 1:49 remaining — but Kemba Walker and his squad would not go down easy.

Walker cut the Thunder lead to four on the next possession, then forced a Westbrook turnover on the other end. After trading buckets on the next two trips down the floor, Marvin Williams hit a three-pointer to cut OKC’s lead to 105-104 with 37.9 seconds to go. Walker would then force yet another Westbrook turnover, but Williams was unable to capitalize — missing a corner three that would have given Charlotte the lead with less than 15 seconds on the clock. Westbrook was able to grab the defensive rebound and allowed fans inside Chesapeake Energy Arena to breathe a sigh of relief.

Westbrook went 4-of-4 from the free throw line from that point forward — giving the Thunder a dramatic 109-104 victory in front of the home crowd at Chesapeake Energy Arena. The win is OKC’s second in a row and 12th in the last 14 games. They’ll be back in action tomorrow night, facing the Denver Nuggets at 7:00 PM CST on Fox Sports Oklahoma.

Full Highlights:


via ESPN


Russell Westbrook full highlights: 30 pts, 12 reb, 8 ast, 2 stl, 10/18 FG, 9/11 FT, +17

Deonte Burton posterizes Miles Bridges:

Jerami Grant goes way up for the lob:


Super Schroder. With Ferguson and Diallo unavailable due to ankle injuries, Schroder entered the starting lineup and again provided a monster boost to the Thunder. He scored 7 points in the first quarter, 16 in the first half, and started 4-of-4 from long range. He cooled off after halftime, but finished with 23 points and 5 rebounds on 9-of-19 shooting — 4-of-8 from downtown. You can check out his full highlights here.

Deonte Burton. The rookie two-way player had himself a night against the Hornets, dropping 11 points in the first half — including a pair of poster-worthy dunks that fired up the crowd and his teammates. He didn’t score again after halftime, but his scoring punch was needed in a second quarter that saw the Hornets lead by as many as nine.

Abrines’ Forgettable Return. Alex Abrines returned to the Thunder rotation after missing a few games due to illness. He scored 0 points on 0-of-1 shooting, committed four fouls in seven minutes, and had to leave the game for a stretch due to a blow to the groin. Not a great night for the young man.

2Pat Struggles. Patrick Patterson continued to struggle, going scoreless in 13 minutes and going 0-of-3 from the field in the process. As a longtime property owner on 2Pat Island, this is extremely difficult to watch — but he’s averaging 2.8 points on 25 percent shooting (16.7 percent from deep) over the last five games. He won’t be earning more minutes if this keeps up.

PG13. Paul George was quietly effective in this one, scoring 19 points on 8-of-21 shooting. He struggled with the long ball, going 3-of-10 from long range — but did contribute 7 rebounds, 6 assists, and 2 steals.

B2B: With this one coming down to the wire, none of the Thunder’s regular rotation guys were able to get much rest — setting up an interesting meeting with the Denver Nuggets tomorrow in OKC. The Nuggets will also be on the back end of a back-to-back, but they blew out the Magic by 25 points today and were able to sit their starters down the stretch.