The Norman Transcript

Sports

December 13, 2012

Durant comes on strong in second half to lead Oklahoma City to victory

OKLAHOMA CITY — After blowing out the New Orleans Hornets in the teams’ two previous matchups, the Oklahoma City Thunder wasn’t expecting a tough night Wednesday. However, the Thunder found themselves in a battle at the Chesapeake Energy Arena.

After a slow start, Kevin Durant showed why he is once again an MVP candidate, scoring 13 of his game-high 35 points in the fourth quarter to lead the Thunder to a 92-88 victory.

The win was the ninth in a row for Oklahoma City (18-4), but the Thunder’s string of 12 consecutive games scoring more than 100 points ended.

Even a team fresh off a trip to the NBA finals can still learn things about itself.

“It’s a long season,” Durant said. “You have to take it a game at time. I think last game and this game were a good test for us to see how we are going to fight through adversity. We had been making shots lately, and for us to miss and miss over and over, to stick with our defense was really inspiring us to keep playing.”

The Hornets (5-16) had their chances to steal the win. With less than two minutes left, New Orleans rookie Anthony Davis hit four consecutive free throws to get his team within two points.

Oklahoma City then went to Durant, who drove into the lane and was fouled as he made the layup. The ensuing free throw gave the Thunder an 89-84 advantage.

“Coach’s always telling me to be extra aggressive,” Durant said. “I just found some lanes, and my teammates did a great job of drawing and kicking and I made some shots.”

After another Davis free throw, the Hornets came up with an offensive rebound, and Brian Roberts knocked down a 3-pointer with 11 seconds left, slicing New Orleans’ deficit to 89-88.

Durant hit one of two from the line, and New Orleans had one last chance to tie or win the game with eight seconds remaining. The Hornets got the ball to Greivis Vasquez, but Kendrick Perkins forced him into an off-balance 3-pointer that missed the mark. New Orleans missed the tip-in, and Oklahoma City’s Thabo Sefolosha put the game away with two free throws.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports
  • OU V Texas Casey sparks Sooners at the plate against Longhorns

    Oklahoma put runners in scoring position all night, but midway through Thursday’s series opener against Texas, the Sooners couldn’t do much with them. Heading into the bottom of the fifth, they had stranded a handful of runners, including ...

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tigers take series with Timberwolves

    Heather Jones made her final Crosstown Clash contest a game to remember....

    April 18, 2014

  • Shannon won’t face criminal charges

    Oklahoma linebacker Frank Shannon will not face criminal charges for an alleged sexual assault. Any punishment he receives will be through the University....

    April 18, 2014

  • Offense disappears in shutout loss to Mountaineers

    Everything Oklahoma did Thursday night looked rushed. It fell behind quickly, hacked at pitches early in counts and even recorded outs in a time-efficient manner....

    April 18, 2014

  • Sooners eager for title shot

    After fighting all season long to stay near the top of the women’s gymnastics rankings, the time has come for Oklahoma to show it belongs there. The NCAA Women’s Gymnastics Championships kick-off at 1 p.m. today and the second ranked ...

    April 18, 2014

  • North girls escape with win over ESF

    EDMOND — Ranked No. 5 in the state and the winners of six straight games, three of them over top 10 teams, the Norman North girls looked every bit the dominant team Thursday night at Edmond Santa Fe … right up until they flirted with ...

    April 18, 2014

  • Fieger leads Senior PGA

    PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Gene Fieger shot a 3-under 69 in windy conditions Thursday to take a four-stroke lead in the Senior PGA Professional National Championship....

    April 18, 2014

  • Kuchar builds on momentum

    HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. — There were no major letdowns for Masters contenders Matt Kuchar and Jordan Spieth at the RBC Heritage on Thursday. Kuchar, who tied for fifth at Augusta National, shot a bogey-free 5-under 66 to share the ...

    April 18, 2014

  • Angel Jimenez set for Champions Tour debut

    DULUTH, Ga. — Miguel Angel Jimenez’s starring role in the best Masters ever for players 50 and over was the perfect lead-in for his Champions Tour debut....

    April 18, 2014

  • Puig focuses on baseball despite issues

    SAN FRANCISCO — Yasiel Puig believes he has the support from his Los Angeles Dodgers teammates and the club to help him keep his focus on baseball despite challenges off the field....

    April 18, 2014

Facebook