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Oklahoma City at Charlotte

Thunder show Bobcats very little mercy in easy victory

CBSSports.com wire reports
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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.

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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.

After getting blown out by 45 points at Oklahoma City in their earlier meeting on Nov. 26, the Bobcats seemed determined early on not to let this one get away.

They led 29-28 at the end of the first quarter behind the hot shooting of Henderson, who knocked down his first five shots for 11 points.

But Charlotte's lead was short-lived. Eventually, the Thunder's talent and depth began to overwhelm the NBA-worst Bobcats.

Oklahoma City opened the second quarter by scoring 19 straight points as the Bobcats missed their first 10 shots and took nearly six minutes before Josh McRoberts knocked down an 18-footer to end a seemingly endless scoring drought.

"We just couldn't keep them from scoring," Henderson said. "At one point in the second quarter, we were down 18 and we didn't know we got there. We just couldn't stop them from scoring. That's where they're a well-oiled machine."

The Thunder held a double-digit lead the rest of the way, taking a 64-50 lead into the locker room after shooting 62.2 percent from the field in the opening half. Half of their points came in the paint as Ibaka was dominant, scoring almost at will.

The Thunder outrebounded the Bobcats 49-37.

This was a break in a tough stretch of games for Oklahoma City, which defeated the Clippers, Lakers and Knicks before their arrival in Charlotte. They'll see stiffer competition when they host Boston on Sunday and visit Sacramento on Monday.

While it may be hard to believe, the Bobcats had a 7-5 record the last time they faced the Thunder.

But their season seemed to turn with that devastating 114-69 loss. The Bobcats are 6-44 since that game and own the worst record in the NBA for the second straight season.

Notes

  • The Bobcats were playing without Ramon Sessions, who is out 2-to-4 weeks with a sprained MCL. That meant more playing time for Kemba Walker, who played 31 minutes in the first three quarters. Reggie Williams saw action at point guard in the fourth quarter.
  • Fisher's 13 points were his most he's scored in his five games with the Thunder.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Kevin Durant scores 19 points, hands out seven assists and also grabs 6 rebounds in the Thunder's win. (Getty Images)
Kevin Durant scores 19 points, hands out seven assists and also grabs 6 rebounds in the Thunder's win. (Getty Images)
Scoreboard
Oklahoma City (46-16) «28362626116
Charlotte (13-49)2921162894
OKC:K. Durant 19 Pts
OKC:H. Thabeet 8 Reb
OKC:K. Durant 7 Ast
CHA:G. Henderson 21 Pts
CHA:J. Adrien 6 Reb
CHA:G. Henderson 5 Ast
Players of the Game
Oklahoma CityCharlotte

Kevin Durant

Gerald Henderson
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
19672155

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Oklahoma City
T. Sefolosha, SF255-60-041313
R. Westbrook, PG255-110-035111
K. Durant, SF246-126-767019
S. Ibaka, PF245-82-271412
K. Perkins, C232-31-25125
R. Jackson, PG254-81-13549
H. Thabeet, C224-60-08058
K. Martin, SG204-100-021011
D. Fisher, PG145-60-033013
P. Jones, SF122-42-44006
N. Collison, PF112-40-04204
R. Brewer, SG70-00-00200
J. Lamb, SG72-30-00005
D. Liggins, SGDid Not Play
D. Orton, CDid Not Play
Totals 46-8112-16492819116
 56.8%75.0% 
Charlotte
K. Walker, PG313-125-654211
G. Henderson, SG307-136-655221
B. Biyombo, PF292-50-25024
M. Kidd-Gilchrist, SF221-50-03212
B. Mullens, C172-70-00215
B. Gordon, SG287-182-343319
R. Williams, SF202-60-05515
J. Taylor, SG183-81-20218
J. Adrien, SF165-72-461012
J. McRoberts, PF152-31-22105
B. Haywood, C141-10-02022
D. Diop, CDid Not Play
T. Thomas, PFDid Not Play
R. Sessions, PGDid Not Play
Totals 35-8517-2537251594
 41.2%68.0% 
Other Games
Ind 115 Final
Orl 86
Mem 103 Final
Cle 92
Dal 102 Final
Det 99
Wash 78 Final
Brook 95
Atl 102 Final
Bos 107
Utah 88 Final
Chi 89
Phi 93 Final
Mia 102
Port 136 Final
SA 106
Pho 112 Final
Sac 121
Hou 94 Final
GS 88
Tor 116 Final
LAL 118