Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 11/26/12
OKLAHOMA CITY -- Before the Charlotte Bobcats took the floor Monday, coach Mike Dunlap told his players to not listen to the outside noise. Even though the team had already matched its season win total from the season before, he didn't want the Bobcats to start believing the hype about how good they were. Dunlap's words turned out to be prophetic, as the Oklahoma City Thunder drilled the Bobcats 114-69 at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Kevin Durant had an efficient night for the Thunder (11-4). In only 26 minutes, he finished with 18 points on 6-of-8 shooting. He also racked up six rebounds, four assists and four blocked shots without touching the floor in the fourth quarter. Russell Westbrook added 12 points and 11 assists for Oklahoma City, which had five players reach double digits in scoring. Jeffery Taylor paced the Bobcats (7-6) with 10 points. No other Charlotte player reached double figures, as the team shot a season-low 29.1 percent from the field. Oklahoma City's biggest lead of the night came midway through the third period, when the Thunder held a 54-point advantage. A few minutes later, Durant, Westbrook and Serge Ibaka left the game for good. Even with the Thunder starters out, Charlotte couldn't buy a basket. Dunlap soon benched his regulars and put in his reserves in to finish the game. The highlight of the second half was Oklahoma City reserve center Hasheem Thabeet getting the first double-double of his four-year career with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Thabeet was the No. 2 overall pick in the 2009 draft out of Connecticut. In one of the worst shooting halves of the season, Charlotte fell behind 64-24 at halftime. It was the lowest amount of points the Thunder allowed in a half since coming to Oklahoma City. The Bobcats shot 8-for-37 (21.6 percent) from the field, and their high scorer was Jeffery Taylor with nine points. Durant scored 12 first-half points, while Thabo Sefolosha added 11 for Oklahoma City. The Thunder had to go to other scoring options early in the night, as Durant was held scoreless in the first eight minutes of the game. NOTES: Entering Monday, Oklahoma City had attempted 394 free throws. Durant led the way with 8.9 attempts per game, which was good for the fourth place in the NBA. Westbrook was 10th at 5.9 per game. The Thunder were one of two teams that had two players in the top 10 in attempts per game. ... Charlotte's Bismack Biyombo was active after missing Saturday's game in Washington with a left leg contusion. At 20 years old, he's one of the youngest players in the NBA, and he reminds many of Ibaka in the early stages of his career. ... Westbrook has appeared in 326 consecutive NBA games, longest active streak in the league. ... Between Charlotte and Oklahoma City, there are four players born in Africa are on the rosters: Biyombo and Gana Diop for Charlotte and Ibaka and Thabeet for Oklahoma City. ... Dunlap said part of his team's success this year is finding ways to communicate with his players using today's technology. "This generation texts a lot," Dunlap said. "You can get a lot done by texting with your players because that is the habit that they know and are comfortable with." Dunlap said the idea came from his former boss, George Karl. ... Speaking of Denver's head coach, the Karl coaching tree includes both Dunlap and Thunder coach Scott Brooks. Dunlap replaced Brooks on Karl's staff when Brooks went to the Sacramento Kings in 2006.
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