Walker scores 29; Hornets overcome Westbrook's triple-double
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Kemba Walker scored 29 points to help Charlotte overcome Russell Westbrook's sixth straight triple-double to beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 113-101 on Sunday.
Westbrook finished with 40 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists. It was Westbrook's 40th triple-double of the season, putting him one behind Oscar Robertson's NBA record of 41, set during the 1961-62 season. It was Westbrook's first career triple-double against Charlotte.
Frank Kaminsky had 18 points and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist added 16 for Charlotte, which entered the day in 10th place in the East, two games behind Chicago, Indiana and Miami, who were tied for seventh.
Walker went 6 of 12 from 3-point range. It was the 14th time this season Walker hit five or more 3-pointers in a game.
Charlotte had 18 steals against Oklahoma City, the most in a regular-season game for the Hornets since Nov. 23, 2012, against Atlanta. The Hornets scored 35 points off 24 Oklahoma City turnovers.
Charlotte seized control with a 13-0 run to open the second half, as the Thunder missed their first seven shots after halftime, allowing the Hornets to build a 72-54 lead.
Westbrook ended Oklahoma City's scoring drought at the 6:24 mark and the Thunder closed within 12 points twice early in the fourth quarter, but former Thunder guard Jeremy Lamb scored nine points in a 13-4 run by Charlotte that made it 101-80 with 7:21 left.
An 8-0 spurt by Oklahoma City, capped by a layup by Andre Roberson, got the Thunder within 102-91 with 4:37 left but a three-point play by Cody Zeller keyed Charlotte.
Oklahoma City shot out to a 13-6 lead, but the Hornets used a 28-9 run to go up 34-22 early in the second quarter. The Thunder pulled within 39-38, but Charlotte answered with a 16-4 run to build a 55-42 lead before Westbrook almost single-handedly cut the gap to 59-54 by halftime.
Hornets: Walker had four steals, moving him past 600 for his career. He's the fourth Hornets player to reach that number, joining Muggsy Bogues, Gerald Wallace and Dell Curry. ... Walker's 229 3-pointers this season are the second-most in a single season in Charlotte franchise history. Jason Richardson had 243 in 2007-08. ... Charlotte, which entered the game averaging the fewest turnovers in the NBA (11.5 per game), had 18 on Sunday. ... Lamb scored 13 points against his former team.
Thunder: Taj Gibson returned to the starting lineup after missing Friday's game against San Antonio due to illness, but scored only four points in 13 minutes. ... Westbrook has 77 career triple-doubles — fifth on the NBA's all-time list, one behind Wilt Chamberlain. ... To clinch a season triple-double, Westbrook needs 11 rebounds and 29 assists over the Thunder's final six games. ... Chicago is the only team against which Westbrook hasn't recorded a triple-double during his career.
Hornets: Will finish a two-game road trip at Washington on Tuesday before a potentially key home game on Wednesday against Miami.
Thunder: Will host Milwaukee on Tuesday to wrap up a three-game homestand.
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