Thunder hope to follow up historic performance vs. Hornets

2012-02-20 07:48:45

Durant dropped a career-high 51 points on 19-of-28 shooting and grabbed eight rebounds, while Westbrook sank 16-of-29 shots en route to a 40-point night for the Thunder, who recorded their ninth straight win at home and improved to 12-1 as the host this season. Durant scored 31 of his 51 points in the second half, and both he and Westbrook tallied the 13 points in the extra frame.

Serge Ibaka compiled a triple-double with 14 points, 15 rebounds and 11 blocks in a winning effort. The Thunder trio made history Sunday night, as it marked the first time in NBA annals that three teammates combined to score 50 points, 40 points and record a triple-double. James Harden had 10 points as a reserve.

'That was a heck of a game. Unfortunately someone had to lose,' Thunder head coach Scott Brooks told the team's website. 'Kevin, Russell and Serge, it was an amazing thing to watch.'

Durant and Westbrook are the first set of teammates to score 50 and 40 points since Kiki Vandeweghe (51) and Alex English (47) accomplished the feat for Denver in 1983. They are the first duo to score 40-plus apiece since Michael Jordan (44) and Scottie Pippen (40) did it for the Bulls in 1996.

Oklahoma City has won eight of 11 games overall and hasn't recorded 10 straight victories as the host since a 12-game spurt from Feb. 22-April 2, 1998, when the club was located in Seattle. The Thunder, who sport the best record in the West at 24-7, are 2-0 on the homestand and will also welcome the Celtics and Lakers to OKC.

New Orleans enters this matchup on a hot note, having won a season-best three in a row since an eight-game losing streak, and will resume a six-game road trip Monday night.

The Hornets are 2-0 so far on the trek and recorded an improbable 89-85 triumph over phenom Jeremy Lin and the New York Knicks on Friday at Madison Square Garden. Trevor Ariza scored 25 points and Marco Belinelli had 17 for the Hornets, who held on down the stretch after leading by as many as 14 points in the game and 12 in the fourth quarter.

New Orleans has won three straight games for the first time since April 3-8 last year and snapped a six-game losing streak to the Knicks. Lin scored 26 points and caught the attention of some of the Hornets players.

'It's the NBA, man. I mean, the kid is really good. I love his passion. What I love about him is he is so humble. He deserves everything he got right now and everything he is going through because, you know, the way he handles himself,' Hornets guard Greivis Vasquez said. 'But tonight it was a little bit different. We came out and played great team defense.'

Vasquez had 15 points and 11 assists for New Orleans, which is 4-9 outside of the Big Easy this season and will also visit Indiana, Cleveland and Chicago on the current road swing. In the seven games Vasquez has started this season, he is averaging 12.7 points, 8.3 assists, 2.1 steals and 3.0 rebounds.

The Hornets are only 3-18 against teams from the Western Conference and 0-19 when outshot by the opponent. They have already lost twice to Oklahoma City this season and are just 1-7 in the previous eight meetings between the teams.

New Orleans is winless in the last four road tests in this series.