The Norman Transcript

Local Sports

November 27, 2012

Thunder declaw Bobcats

OKLAHOMA CITY — Charlotte believed itself a team on the rise when it came into Oklahoma City on Monday night. It had a few big wins under its belt and had already matched its season win total from the year before.

The Thunder wanted to prove to the Bobcats they still have a long way to go. And so they did, drilling Charlotte 114-69 at Chesapeake Energy Arena.

“We kind of know OKC is a test for us,” Charlotte coach Mike Dunlap said. “We failed it miserably. But there are better days ahead.”

The 69 points allowed by the Thunder is an Oklahoma City-era franchise record. The previous low was 74. The 45-point victory margin is also a record.

“It’s obviously one of our best games that we’ve played on both ends of the floor,” Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. “It was a combination of a few things. We really played good basketball, passing and defending. And they had a bad night. It happens.”

Kevin Durant proved very efficient for the Thunder (11-4). In 26 minutes, he finished with 18 points on 6-of-8 shooting. He also racked up six rebounds, four assists and four blocked shots without touching the floor in the fourth quarter.

Russell Westbrook added 12 points and 11 assists for Oklahoma City, which had five players score in double digits. As a team, the Thunder racked 31 assists.

Jeffery Taylor paced the Bobcats (7-6) with 10 points. No other Charlotte player reached double figures. The Bobcats shot a season-low 29.1 percent.

“I think everybody came out ready to play tonight,” Westbrook said. “Everybody did a great job of coming out focused and took care of the task at hand. They came in tonight wanting a big game, and we just took care of business.”

Oklahoma City’s biggest lead of the night came midway through the third period when the Thunder held a 54-point advantage. A few minutes later, Durant, Westbrook and Serge Ibaka left the game for good.

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