Despite trailing for much of the game, the Thunder surged back to beat the New Orleans Hornets by four on Wednesday night, extending their winning streak to nine straight games.
At 18-4, the Thunder have matched their effort from the 2011 season, the second best start in franchise history after the Seattle Supersonics‘ 20-2 start in the 1993-94 season.
Thunder star Kevin Durant dropped 35 points in this winning effort. For the Hornets, Brian Roberts led the team with 15.
The win serves as the third time in four weeks the Thunder have beat the Hornets, and the seventh straight time on the series. The Hornets on the other hand saw their fifth consecutive loss this year. For most of the game, New Orleans controlled the tempo and limited the Thunder. They held an 11-point lead going into the second half, but did not have enough steam to close this one out. In the closing seconds, Hornets’ Greivis Vasquez put up a three-pointer that would have given New Orleans the lead, but to no avail. Thabo Sefalosha grabbed the board, and then knocked down both subsequent free throws.
Though the Hornets could not top OKC, they limited the Thunder from scoring 100 points. Currently the league’s highest-scoring team, the Thunder had dropped triple digits in each of their last 12 games. New Orleans also held the Thunder to 17 and 36 first quarter and first half points respectively, season lows for this squad.
Oklahoma City moves on to play the Sacramento Kings on Friday, Dec. 14, at home.