With superstars Kevin Durant and Anthony Davis out due to injuries, Russell Westbrook expectedly enjoyed being in the limelight and led the Oklahoma City Thunder past the visiting New Orleans Pelicans, 110-103 Wednesday night.
The star point guard dropped 43 points on an efficient 14-of-25 shooting and added 9 rebounds and 8 assists to snap the Thunder’s two-game skid.
Enes Kanter came off the bench to post a double-double of 24 points and 14 rebounds and was the only Thunder to score in double figures. Anthony Morrow and D.J. Augustin had good shooting nights, combining for 5-of-8 from behind the arc for a total of 18 points between them.
The Thunder won the rebounding battle, 50-40 and 16-10 on the offensive boards.
The undermanned Pelicans actually performed very well despite playing short-handed away from home. After trailing by double-digits late in the third quarter, the Pelicans were able to cut down the lead to three points multiple times. The last one came at the 3:25 mark of the final quarter, 97-94, but the Davis-less Pelicans could never capitalize.
Stretch four Ryan Anderson led the way for New Orleans as he posted his best scoring game of the season with 30 points on 13-of-25 field goal shooting with 4 three-pointers. Alexis Ajinca posted a double-double of 10 points, 12 rebounds plus 2 blocked shots and the starting backcourt of Ish Smith and Eric Gordon scored 18 points each.
The Pelicans continued their struggle in the current season with just one win to show for in 11 starts. New Orleans is currently on a five-game losing streak and will face the San Antonio Spurs Friday.
Without Durant, who is still out due to a hamstring injury, the Thunder have gone 2-2 the past four games and will host the New York Knicks and Dallas Mavericks in their next two games.