The Norman Transcript

National Sports

March 9, 2013

Thunder pull away from Bobcats

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Kevin Durant sat in his locker after the game with both of his legs completely wrapped in an air pressure leg massager.

It must have been from habit.

Durant’s legs didn’t get overworked Friday night as the Oklahoma City Thunder bolted to a 29-point lead in the third quarter and coasted to their fourth straight victory with a 116-94 win over the Charlotte Bobcats.

After playing an average of 42 minutes in his last three games, Durant played less than half of the game but still managed to rack up 19 points, seven assists and six rebounds. But he was more than happy to watch most of the second half from the bench, particularly with the Thunder in the midst of four-game stretch in five nights.

“It’s good to get some rest,” Durant said. “I played 45 minutes last night and tonight (the starters) basically played a half of basketball. That’s good to get you re-energized for the next game. But it’s also good that we have such a deep team.”

Depth is what won this one for the Thunder.

Derek Fisher and Thabo Sefolosha both had 13 points for the Thunder, who blew open a close game with 19-0 run to start the second quarter with their second team on the floor.

Serge Ibaka scored 12 points, and Russell Westbrook and Kevin Martin each chipped in with 11.

The Thunder shot 59 percent from the field in the first three quarters to build a 90-66 lead and rested their starters the rest of the way.

“That second unit is a defensive unit, but they’ve shown they can also score,” Thunder coach Scott Brooks said.

Center Kendrick Perkins said it’s been exciting to see how the second unit has progressed.

“You are starting to get a real team chemistry with that unit as far as Fish, Reggie Jackson and Martin playing aggressive in the backcourt and Nick (Collison) taking charges and getting his hands on the ball. They’re doing a great job.”

The Thunder have won seven of their last eight.

Gerald Henderson scored 21 points to lead the Bobcats, who have lost nine straight overall and 22 of their last 24 games at home.

The Thunder swept the season series, beating the Bobcats by a combined 67 points.

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