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Author
Brett Martel
Date
December 7, 2013

Durant leads Thunder over Pelicans, 109-95

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Kevin Durant scored 29 points, Russell Westbrook added 25 and the Oklahoma City Thunder beat New Orleans for the ninth straight time, 109-95 on Friday night.

Serge Ibaka had 17 points, 13 rebounds and three blocked shots for Oklahoma City, which has won 14 of its last 15 against the Pelicans, with most of those games occurring when New Orleans’ team was called the Hornets.

Ryan Anderson scored 18 for the Pelicans, who lost their second straight at home while playing their third full game without power forward Anthony Davis, sidelined by a broken left hand. New Orleans also lost guard Tyreke Evans to a left ankle sprain late in the third quarter, and soon afterward Oklahoma City built a 15-point lead.

New Orleans raced to an early double-digit lead, only to fall behind 58-52 by halftime. The Thunder led the entire second half and comfortably throughout the fourth quarter, going up by as many as 20 late in the period.

Reggie Jackson scored 15 for Oklahoma City, which shot 50.6 percent (39 of 77) and rarely allowed its lead to slip below double digits after Thabo Sefolosha’s driving dunk made it 74-64 in the middle of the third quarter.

Jrue Holiday and Eric Gordon each scored 16 for New Orleans, which shot 37.5 percent (33 of 88) and hurt itself by going 3 of 16 from 3-point range.

Oklahoma City shot nearly 59 percent in the opening half, when Durant (19 points) and Westbrook (17 points) combined for 36 points.

New Orleans had the largest lead of the half when Holiday’s reverse layup made it 22-11 halfway through the opening quarter. But the Thunder chipped away, regaining the lead early in the second.

The game was tied at 52 after Gordon’s fast-break layup, but Westbrook and Jackson closed out the half with back-to-back 3s, giving Oklahoma City a six-point edge at halftime.

NOTES: Oklahoma City, which is 9-0 at home, improved to 5-4 on the road. … New Orleans outrebounded Oklahoma City 49-41. The Pelicans’ Jason Smith grabbed 12 rebounds and Al-Farouq Aminu had 10. … The Thunder had 11 blocked shots, including three by Durant. … Oklahoma City turned 16 New Orleans turnovers into 24 points and outscored the Pelicans in fast-break points 17-10. … New Orleans might have lost the game by an even wider margin if not for 19 offensive rebounds and 20 second-chance points.

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