Thunder Sink Pelicans 102-91
Oklahoma City Thunder All-Star point guard Russell Westbrook dropped 45 points on the New Orleans Pelicans Wednesday night, leading his team to a 102-91 victory.
Westbrook's 45 matched his career-high. OKC, playing without superstar Kevin Durant (toe) pulled one game closer to the Pelicans in the Western Conference standings.
"Defensively I thought Russell just had his way with us tonight," said Pelicans coach Monty Williams. "Whether it was coming off screens or knocking down shots, we just didn't have an answer for him."
Anthony Davis led the Pelicans in scoring with 23, while Ryan Anderson added 19 off the bench.
New Orleans went cold from the field late, failing to score a single point in the final 5:35 of regulation.
"We shot a lot of jump shots and the shots we did have in the paint didn't go down for us," said Williams. "We only scored 34 points in the second half."
With their shots not falling, the Pelicans backcourt failed to get to the free throw line. New Orleans only attempted 13 free throws. Davis, Anderson and Omer Asik were the only Pelicans to get to the line.
"Neither team got to the free throw line much and we just couldn't hit a shot," explained Williams.
Currently, New Orleans is 9th in the West at 26-23, a game and a half back of the Phoenix Suns, and one game better than the Thunder.
New Orleans has bounced back from losses well this year, and a giant opportunity awaits them on Friday night. The Pelicans can gain a 2 game lead and earn a potential playoff tiebreaker over the Thunder with a win in Oklahoma City tomorrow night.