The Thunder couldn’t overcome a poor defensive first quarter before falling to the Hornets 121-98.
The Hornets started quick, and stayed hot throughout the first quarter. Led by PJ Washington’s nine points the Hornets scored 37 in the first frame.
With 3:12 left in the first Shai Gilgeous-Alexander knocked down two free throws to make the Hornets lead 21-17. The Thunder didn’t score again until the 24.2 second mark with a Darius Bazley 3-point jumper.
Between that time the Hornets went on a 14-0 run to pull ahead of the struggling Thunder. The Hornets ended the first with a 37-20 lead.
The second quarter once again saw the two offenses click. This time the Thunder was able to hang around and not let the deficit grow. Both teams ended the quarter with 32 points.
The Hornets, after ending the first on a 14-3 run had a 7-0 run in the second quarter but the Thunder were able to overcome that run.
Washington was held in check by OKC scoring just three points in the second after posting nine in the first. Gilgeous-Alexander continued his hot streak of games scoring 22 in the first half.
Terry Rozier led the way for the Hornets with 17 as they led the Thunder 69-52 at the half.
After half the Thunder came out hot, but eventually the Hornets caught back up. The Hornets used a late push in the form of a 6-0 run to keep the previously built up lead intact and even extend it by one. It was the first quarter the Hornets scored less than 30, notching 24.
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Washington had another strong quarter adding six to his growing total putting his total to 18. Gilgeous-Alexander scored four in the quarter bringing his total to 26.
The Hornets began the fourth leading 93-75.
The fourth quarter began slowly for both teams, but then Ty Jerome opened the scoring for OKC with a 3-point shot. The Hornets responded, as they had most of the game, with a run. This time a 6-0 run before Gilgeous-Alexander ended the run with a layup.
With 3:16 left Josh Giddey scored on a jumper to put his total at 21 on the night, which marked a career-high for the rookie.
The Hornets knocked down shot after shot to add insult to injury for the Thunder. The deficit continued to swell for OKC as they couldn’t keep up with the hot Hornets.
The Thunder struggled from 3-point range, yet again, shooting well below 30%. The Thunder shot 44 3-point shots on the night.
Gilgeous-Alexander finished with 29 points after missing a free throw that would’ve put him at 30 for the fourth time in six games.
Rozier led the Hornets in scoring with 24.
The Thunder are back in action Saturday against Cleveland.