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Oklahoma City Thunder drop season-series to inspired Charlotte Hornets, 113-101; Westbrook nets 40th triple-double

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NBA: Charlotte Hornets at Oklahoma City Thunder Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Following four-quarters of disorganized play, the Oklahoma City Thunder dropped its season-series finale to Charlotte, 113-101.

Turnovers, fouls, and rushed offensive sets placed a damper upon Russell Westbrook's (40 pts, 13 reb, 10 ast) 40th triple-double of the season.

In total, Oklahoma City committed 24 turnovers and 20 personal fouls.

This helter-skelter execution aided Charlotte’s +17 FTM advantage. Meanwhile, Kemba Walker (29 pts, 6-12 3PM) put forth a fitting All-Star performance to keep his Hornets 1.5 games within Miami for playoff inclusion.

Another area of dominance for the Hornets included a 44-26 reserve-scoring edge.

Bench standouts, Frank Kaminsky (18) and Jeremy Lamb (13) joined starters Micheal Kidd-Gilchrist (16) and Cody Zeller (11) to round out Charlotte’s twin-figure scorers.

While the Hornets’ defensive intensity was indicative of an underachieving —yet talented— group clinging to fading playoff hopes, many of Oklahoma City’s miscues were of the unforced variety.

On numerous occasions, Westbrook (8 TO), Oladipo (4 TO), and Taj Gibson’s (3 TO) rushed entry-passes bounced off the normally reliable hands of Steven Adams (4 TO) and Enes Kanter (1 TO).

From the afternoon’s onset, OKC set a sloppy tone with seven first-quarter turnovers.

Overall, the Thunder, in complete contrast to determined Charlotte, had the look of an iteration settling the particulars for its already made post-season table.

Victor Oladipo (19) and Andre Roberson (12) joined Russell Westbrook in twin-figure scoring.

As six contests remain, Westbrook now trails Oscar Robertson’s 55-year-old triple-double record (41) by one triple double.

However, the Thunder is just 3-3 during the 6’3 guard’s ongoing six-game triple-double streak.

Charlotte (36-41) has won three-consecutive outings.

Conversely, Oklahoma City (43-33) has dropped its last two contests.

Once in contention for home-court playoff advantage, the Thunder now leads #7 Memphis by a 1.5 game margin.

Billy Donovan’s crew next takes the floor Tuesday night vs. visiting Milwaukee.

THUNDER WOES

  • Turnovers: It is difficult to amass 24 turnovers in a single contest. Oklahoma City is lucky to have only lost by 12.
  • Fouls: In a totally undisciplined exhibition, Thunder players simply grabbed and hacked at Charlotte’s interior attempts.
  • Lack of support for Westbrook: While Russ’ eight turnovers did his teammates no favors, in turn, outside of Oladipo’s 19, OKC’s 42 pts and 19-of-39 shooting wasn’t enough on this night.
  • Lack of concern: Oklahoma City showed little desire to play the correct way vs. Charlotte.

THUNDER PRO’S

  • Westbrook’s historical march: With 40 triple-doubles, Westbrook is on the precipice of breaking Oscar Robertson’s revered marker for singular on-court accomplishment.

THUNDER FOE

  • Kemba Walker: Walker (10-20 FG, 6-12 3P) burned OKC early and often with 29 points, fours steals, and four assists.

THUNDER LINE OF WONDER

  • Russell Westbrook: 7-15 3PM overall, scored 13 (5-of-11 FG) of OKC’s 16 third-quarter points.