LINDY'S POSTGAME REPORT

Thunder rally from 19 down to top Hornets

Dick Cox

November 01, 2018 at 9:08 pm.

Nov 1, 2018; Charlotte, NC, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) goes up for a dunk in the first half against the Charlotte Hornets at Spectrum Center. Photo Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Nov 1, 2018; Charlotte, NC, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) goes up for a dunk in the first half against the Charlotte Hornets at Spectrum Center. Photo Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

The Charlotte Hornets surged to a 19-point lead early in the third quarter, but couldn’t slow down a huge Oklahoma City Thunder rally, falling 111-107. Kemba Walker and Malik Monk each finished the night with a team-high 21 points to lead the Hornets. Russell Westbrook recorded game highs in scoring (29 points) and assists (10) to go along with eight rebounds and three steals for Oklahoma City. Álex Abrines added a career-high 25 points (5-of-10 from three), while Dennis Schröder had 21 points and five assists to pace the Thunder.

Charlotte held a 66-47 lead midway through the third quarter, but Oklahoma City got to within four by the end of the quarter. It was a back and forth game going down the stretch in the fourth quarter before a Schröder three-point shot with 1:12 remaining gave the Thunder a two-possession lead.

“It was a heck of a run there to start the third quarter. Guys came out with good energy,” said Hornets Head Coach James Borrego. “I think the stretch after we were up 19, we turned it over four times pretty quickly there that led to easy points. We just could not get enough stops down the stretch to get out and run. Their pressure, their urgency picked up and we got to withstand that.”

Thunder coach Billy Donovan said that he wasn’t giving away his strategy for slowing down Walker in the first half since they have to play the Hornets again.

”It was a collective team effort and we did a really good job,” Donovan said. ”You have to do a good job in pick-and-roll coverage and you have to be persistent because he’s really shifty. He looks like he is giving up on the play and you bail out and there he goes.” The Thunder held Walker to three points in the first half.

The win was the third in a row for OKC after starting the season 0-4. The Hornets moved to 4-5 on the season.

Watch the postgame video here