Fri, Mar 01, 2013 - Page 19 News List

NBA: Durant, Thunder roll over Hornets

LOSING BATTLE:The Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry shot a season-high 54 points against the New York Knicks, but J.R. Smith took the Knicks to victory

Reuters and AP, Houston, Texas

J.R. Smith of the New York Knicks, center, takes an off-balance shot against the Golden State Warriors at Madison Square Garden in New York City on Wednesday.

Photo: AFP

Kevin Durant landed a triple double as the Oklahoma City Thunder recorded a 119-74 blowout victory over the outclassed New Orleans Hornets on Wednesday.

The Thunder improved to 42-15 with the win, keeping their hold on the second-best record in the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) Western Conference as they try to chase down the leading San Antonio Spurs, who lost 105-101 in overtime to Phoenix to drop to 45-14.

Russell Westbrook was the main destroyer for the Thunder with 29 points, while Durant contributed 18 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists.

“I’m happy with the way we competed tonight,” Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. “I thought our defensive effort was outstanding for 48 minutes, we passed the ball very well and our overall effort was good. We utilized Russell and K.D. in different areas of the floor.”

Serge Ibaka also added 18 points for the home side, while Ryan Anderson top-scored for the Hornets with 14 points as New Orleans dropped to 20-39.

The Hornets’ cause was not helped by the absence of Anthony Davis and Eric Gordon.


In Houston, Texas, Monta Ellis sank an off-balance three-pointer just before the final buzzer to give the Milwaukee Bucks a victory over the Houston Rockets.

Ellis scored 27 points and handed out 13 assists, while Ersan Ilyasova added 20 points as the Bucks won in Houston for the second straight season.

The Bucks went down to the wire again after beating Dallas 95-90 on Tuesday and losing their previous three games by no more than three points. Ellis took a pass from Brandon Jennings and heaved a shot off one foot as time was winding down. The referees watched a replay and ruled that Ellis shot it in time.

James Harden scored 25 and Omer Asik grabbed a career-high 22 rebounds for Houston.


In New York, Carmelo Anthony scored 35 points, while J.R. Smith hit the tiebreaking shot with 1 minute, 10 seconds left as the New York Knicks overcame Stephen Curry’s NBA season-high 54 points to beat the Golden State Warriors 109-105 on Wednesday night.

Curry was 18 of 28 from the field, finishing one shy of the NBA record with 11 three-pointers. The Knicks finally stopped him with 1:28 to play when Raymond Felton blocked his shot with the score tied at 105.

That led to a jumper by Smith, who finished with 26 points. Anthony followed with another basket as the Knicks hung on to spoil former Knicks star and Warriors coach Mark Jackson’s homecoming.

It was the most points by an NBA player in a loss since Kobe Bryant had 58 in a loss to Charlotte on Dec. 29, 2006.

Curry finished with seven assists and six rebounds to pass his previous career best of 42 points, as well as Kevin Durant’s 52-point performance that had been the best in the NBA this season.

Tyson Chandler had 16 points and a career-best 28 rebounds for the Knicks, who won their second straight after a season-high, four-game losing streak.

SUNS 105, SPURS 101

In San Antonio, Texas, Jermaine O’Neal had 22 points and 13 rebounds, while Wesley Johnson hit a three-pointer at the end of regulation to force overtime as the Phoenix Suns beat San Antonio to snap the Spurs’ 18-game home winning streak.

Luis Scola added 15 points while Goran Dragic had 13 points and 13 assists for Phoenix, who ended a six-game losing streak against San Antonio.

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