The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

February 27, 2013

Westbrook, Thunder rip Hornets 119-74

By Jeff Latzke, AP Sports Writer
Associated Press

OKLAHOMA CITY — Russell Westbrook scored 29 points, Kevin Durant recorded his third career triple-double and the Oklahoma City Thunder finished a perfect three-game homestand by routing the short-handed New Orleans Hornets 119-74 on Wednesday night.

Durant had 18 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists as Oklahoma City finished a dominant four-game sweep of the season series against New Orleans, which was without starters Anthony Davis (shoulder) and Eric Gordon (knee). The Thunder led by at least 29 in three of the four meetings this season,

With the Thunder firmly in control, Durant made a clear bid for the triple-double. He got the assist on five straight Thunder baskets in the third quarter, grinning widely at the bench after his ninth assist. He and the rest of the starters exited soon after.

Ryan Anderson started in place of Davis and led New Orleans with 14 points.

The margin of victory matched the largest of the season for Oklahoma City and was the biggest blowout the Hornets have suffered this season. It also marked the first back-to-back blowouts by at least 30 points by the Thunder franchise since 1994, when it was located in Seattle.

With Oklahoma City already up by 23, Durant went into assist mode to get his second triple-double since the All-Star break. He assisted on Westbrook’s two-handed dunk and a jumper by Serge Ibaka, then threw an off-target alley-oop that Westbrook was able to lay in. He followed that with a pass to Ibaka for a layup, turning to his teammates on the bench with a big smile afterward. After a timeout, he knew he needed just one more assist and passed up a shot near the elbow to instead set up a 3-pointer by Westbrook from the left corner.

On the next possession, Durant made a 10-foot jumper to make it 87-52 and then came out with the rest of the starters with 4:01 left in the third quarter.

The huge lead gave coach Scott Brooks the whole fourth quarter to rest his starters and give playing time to new acquisitions Derek Fisher and Ronnie Brewer.

Brewer played the entire fourth quarter along with Fisher and the lead grew to as much as 43.