CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Kevin Durant scored 32 points, and the Oklahoma City Thunder overcame a poor shooting night by dominating the fourth quarter in a 99-81 victory over the reeling Charlotte Bobcats on Tuesday.
The Thunder quickly erased a 69-68 deficit entering the final period with a 25-3 run full of dunks and transition buckets off Charlotte turnovers.
The Bobcats missed their first 11 shots of the period, threw the ball away five times and didn’t get their first field goal of the quarter until 2 minutes, 52 seconds remained, producing sarcastic cheers.
“It was a combination of them missing shots and us playing great defense,” said Thunder coach Scotty Brooks, who indicated at shootaround that he “flushed it out” with his team a day earlier following a loss to undermanned Phoenix. “We really focused on getting better defensively.”
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Said Durant, who hit 14-of-16 free throws and added seven rebounds: “We always talk about us being a team that bounces back pretty tough.”
Russell Westbrook scored 15 points, James Harden added 13 and Jeff Green scored nine of his 12 points in the fourth, when the Thunder outscored Charlotte, 31-12.
Stephen Jackson scored 20 points and Boris Diaw added 13 points, seven rebounds and eight assists for the Bobcats, who dropped their fourth in a row. It seems that nothing Charlotte coach Larry Brown says these days registers with his ragged bunch.
“The same things are happening again,” Brown said. “We stand around, hold the ball and turn it over. We take bad shots. In that regard, you see how much more athletic (they are) than we are. A turnover for them is a dunk.”