Spurred once again by dominant performances from Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, the Oklahoma City Thunder eviscerated a short-handed New Orleans Hornets team, 119-74, on Wednesday night.
Durant led the way, recording his second triple-double in his past four games. The Thunder star scored 18 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists, a statistical rarity for Durant, who had just one career triple-double heading into the All-Star break.
Westbrook also continued his recent torrid scoring stretch, scoring 29 points while knocking down each of his 12 free-throw attempts. That was Westbrook's sixth straight 20-plus-point performance, culminating an utterly brilliant month of February for the young point guard.
Though both fantastic, one has to wonder what could have been for the two Thunder stars on Wednesday. Oklahoma City sat out its starters during the fourth quarter after taking a 96-60 lead through the first 36 minutes.
Playing without Eric Gordon and Anthony Davis, New Orleans struggled to create substantive progress on either end of the floor. The Hornets shot just 35.1 percent (including a 6-of-21 nightmare from beyond the arc), and forward Ryan Anderson was their only starter who reached double figures.
Wednesday marked New Orleans' fifth loss in six games, a streak that likely won't get any better until Gordon or Davis return to the lineup.
Meanwhile, Oklahoma City continues to dominate teams at home. The Thunder are 26-4 at Chesapeake Energy Arena, with each of their last three wins coming at the friendly confines.
Player of the Game: Kevin Durant
Westbrook was the more spectacular scorer, but Durant's all-around performance was truly impressive. The Durantula is in the midst of an MVP-level campaign, and Wednesday was yet another indication of the improvements he's made as a player. He's finding open men in the lane and has even developed a pretty strong ability to pass in the open floor.
What's Next for the Hornets?
The 20-39 Hornets will get a travel day off before taking on the Detroit Pistons at home on Friday night.
What's Next for the Thunder?
The 42-15 Thunder will also get a 24-hour reprieve from the NBA grind before traveling to Denver to take on the Nuggets on Friday.