OKLAHOMA CITY —
“I think we let them get a little too comfortable,” Rivers said. “They were really comfortable when they were running their offense. It felt like they could just come in here and just win, and that’s what they did. I don’t think they felt us at all tonight. These games happen, but you have to at least fight.”
With New Orleans playing shorthanded, Westbrook took advantage from the outset. The All-Star point guard scored 18 points in the first period and almost outscored the Hornets by himself. The Thunder led 30-21 heading into the second. Newly acquired Derek Fisher entered the game for the first time to start the period.
But it was Anderson who made the biggest impact in the period as he kept finding himself wide-open around the 3-point line. He knocked down the open shots and closed Oklahoma City’s lead to six points with 3:30 left in the half.
Durant and Serge Ibaka spearheaded a 17-6 run to end the quarter and build a 62-45 lead at halftime.
Oklahoma City kept it rolling into the third quarter and found several ways to put the ball through the net, often on assists from Durant. His pass to Westbrook in the corner for a 3-pointer gave him his 10th and final assist for the night.
The Thunder led 96-60 heading into the fourth quarter, and the starters rested for the final 12 minutes.
“I got a good relationship with those guys at the scorers table,” Durant said. “We laugh and joke all the time, and tonight they told me I was one assist away. When you have a triple-double, people think it’s just about the guy that gets it. Your teammates make so many great plays to put you in position to do that.”
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