Thunder beat down Bobcats

Associated Press  |  Last updated November 26, 2012
Kevin Durant scored 18 points and the Oklahoma City Thunder opened a 40-point halftime lead in one of the most lopsided first halves in NBA history on their way to a 114-69 blowout of the Charlotte Bobcats on Monday night. Russell Westbrook had 12 points and 11 assists before he and the rest of Oklahoma City's starters were pulled less than 5 minutes into the second half with the Thunder leading 79-25. Westbrook powered home a right-handed slam to put an exclamation point on the first half and put Oklahoma City up 64-24. It 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 was the largest blowout ever for Charlotte, which had shown promise with seven early wins -- the same number it had last season while setting an NBA record for futility. Rookie Jeff Taylor scored 10 points to lead the Bobcats, whose worst loss previously was 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. Oklahoma City broke it open with a 22-3 run, scoring the final 10 points of the first quarter and then 12 of the first 15 to start the second. Eric Maynor and Kevin Martin hit 3-pointers on consecutive possessions, and Durant followed that by setting up back-to-back two-handed dunks by Hasheem Thabeet and Nick Collison to make it 40-15 with 8:23 left before halftime. The Thunder shot 60 percent from the field while limiting Charlotte to 22 percent and forcing 11 turnovers in the first half. The Bobcats made only 3 of 20 shots in the second quarter while getting outscored 36-12. It still wasn't a Thunder franchise record for a halftime margin. When the team was based in Seattle, the SuperSonics held a 75-31 lead against Boston on Nov. 23, 1967 -- the second-largest margin in the shot clock era, which started in the 1954-55 season. Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks pulled his starters less than 5 minutes into the second half after the lead ballooned to 79-25 following Durant's 3-pointer from the right wing. The last five players on the Thunder bench played the entire fourth quarter. Charlotte still couldn't avoid the most lopsided loss in the franchise's history, despite pulling within 38 twice in the fourth quarter. It didn't come close to the NBA record for margin of victory, from Cleveland's 148-80 rout of Miami on Dec. 17, 1991. Notes: Oklahoma City's highest-scoring first half this season came at New Orleans on Nov. 15, when the Thunder took a 66-37 lead. ... Charlotte's Bismack Biyombo missed his second straight game with a left leg contusion. Coach Mike Dunlap had called him a game-time decision. Gerald Henderson (sprained left foot) and Tyrus Thomas (left calf strain) also sat out.
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