Thunder down Pelicans in Oklahoma
(The Sports Xchange) - Oklahoma City and New Orleans came into their matchup Thursday with heavy hearts.
The death of Ingrid Williams, wife of Thunder assistant coach Monty Williams affected both franchises. Monty Williams was the Pelicans head coach before being fired last season and had been like a second mother to most of the current players.
However, Pelicans center Anthony Davis refused to use the tragedy as an excuse after the Thunder rolled to a 121-95 victory over New Orleans at the Chesapeake Energy Arena.
"It was tough, but you have to still go out there and compete," Davis said. "That's what we tried to do tonight."
Thunder guard Russell Westbrook was one rebound shy of his ninth triple double of the season as he collected 23 points, 10 assists and nine boards.
Forward Kevin Durant scored 23 points on 10 of 17 shooting from the field to go along with six assists. Forward Serge Ibaka added 18 points as the Thunder improved to 40-14.
Oklahoma City heads into the All-star break as one of three teams in the Western Conference with at least 40 wins. According to Elias Sports, that is the first time in NBA history for that to happen in any conference.
"I think we are great, man," Westbrook said. "Forty wins, I like where we are. Looking to come back in the second half of the season and turn it up a notch."
Davis scored 23 points to lead the Pelicans, but was limited to three rebounds and no blocked shots. Guard Jrue Holiday came off the bench to post 23 points and six assists as the Pelicans fell to 20-33. Continued...