Thunder dominates Bobcats in lopsided win
BY JEFF LATZKE Associated Press
Tuesday, November 27, 2012
11/27/12 at 6:16 AM
OKLAHOMA CITY - Russell Westbrook tipped away a pass, got into the open court all by himself and then braced for a big take-off and a signature throwdown dunk. Instead, he meekly flipped the ball into the basket and grinned sheepishly at the Oklahoma City Thunder bench after the miscue.
"I really thought he was going to do something a little better than what he did, but I'll take up for him and say he slipped a little bit," said Kevin Durant, the three-time NBA scoring champion.
"But he made up for it at the end of the half."
Did he ever.
Westbrook powered home a right-handed slam to put an exclamation point on one of the most dominant first halves in NBA history, putting Oklahoma City up by 40 on its way to a 114-69 blowout of the Charlotte Bobcats on Monday night.
The 64-24 advantage was the fifth-biggest halftime lead in NBA's shot-clock era and the largest since Golden State set the record with an 88-41 edge on Sacramento on Nov. 2, 1991, according to STATS.
It ended up as the biggest blowout in Bobcats history.
"We struggled to hit shots, we struggled to get good shots, we got beat on the boards. We got beat in all facets of the game," Charlotte center Brendan Haywood said.
Durant scored 18 points and Westbrook had 12 points and 11 assists. The defending Western Conference champions pulled their starters after Durant's 3-pointer from the right wing made it 79-25 less than 5 minutes into the second half.
"We came out and took care of business, regardless of who the opponent is," Westbrook said. "That's a good team. They came in tonight and had won some big games.
"We just took care of business."
Rookie Jeff Taylor scored 10 points to lead Charlotte, which had shown promise with seven early wins - the same number it had last season while going 7-59 and setting an NBA record for futility.
The franchise's worst blowout previously had been a 112-68 defeat against Portland on Feb. 1.
The Bobcats opened with their worst offensive quarter of the season, scoring just 12 points while committing seven turnovers on their 20 possessions, and it only got worse.
The Thunder shot 60 percent from the field in the first half while limiting Charlotte to 22 percent and forcing 11 turnovers.
Original Print Headline: Thunder dominates Bobcats
Oklahoma City Thunder center Hasheem Thabeet dunks in front of Charlotte's Byron Mullens in the third quarter of their game in Oklahoma City on Monday. SUE OGROCKI / Associated Press