Thunder at Hornets
The New Orleans Hornets are still without No. 1 overall draft pick Anthony Davis due to an ankle injury. Unfortunately for the Hornets, the Oklahoma City Thunder do not have such injury concerns. The Thunder will be looking to win in New Orleans for the second time this season when they visit on Saturday. The Hornets are 1-5 without their budding franchise player and struggled in the opener of a five-game homestand on Wednesday.
Oklahoma City picked up its fourth straight win on Friday and leads the NBA in scoring. Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and company have gone for 100 or more points in eight straight games and have yet to lose on the second night of a back-to-back. New Orleans allowed the Thunder to shoot 54.1 percent in a 110-95 loss on Nov. 16 but has managed to hold its last two opponents under the century mark.
TV: 8 p.m. ET, FSOK (Oklahoma City), FSNO (New Orleans)
ABOUT THE THUNDER (13-4): Oklahoma City got 25 points from Durant and 23 points, 13 rebounds, eight assists and seven steals from Russell Westbrook is cruising to a 106-94 won over the Utah Jazz on Friday. That has basically been the formula for the Thunder for the past few seasons, with contributions from Serge Ibaka and now Kevin Martin taking some pressure off the two stars. That was how it worked in the first trip to New Orleans, as Durant and Kevin Martin scored 27 apiece and Westbrook handed out 12 assists during a game in which Oklahoma City led by as much as 35 points.
ABOUT THE HORNETS (4-10): Davis is listed as day-to-day but has yet to practice and will not be in the lineup on Saturday. Davis was one of a few New Orleans players that got a little riled up in the Nov. 16 meeting. Greivis Vasquez and Westbrook were given technical fouls for a dustup before the half while Davis and even coach Monty Williams exchanged some words with Durant and Thunder center Kendrick Perkins. The Hornets have played with that sort of intensity this season but the absence of Eric Gordon and now Davis has left them shorthanded most nights. Vasquez and Robin Lopez each scored 18 points on Wednesday but New Orleans turned it over 19 times in a 96-84 loss to Utah.
1. The Thunder hit 14 3-pointers in the first meeting, led by Martin’s 6-of-11 effort. Durant went 4-for-5 from beyond the arc.
2. Oklahoma City has taken five straight and nine of the last 10 in the series.
3. New Orleans rookie G Austin Rivers is shooting 32 percent in four games since being moved out of the starting lineup.