Howard's 23 points lead Hornets past Thunder

Howard's 23 points lead Hornets past Thunder”

It was the most points Oklahoma City has given up in a single quarter this season and left the team with an 18 point deficit headed into the final 12 minutes of basketball.

Paul George sat out his second consecutive game with a leg contusion, but should be available to play on Monday.

George, on the other hand, was very open to the media about the Thunder's problems, and issued a rallying cry to his teammates to try and motivate them to turn their season around before it is too late.

The Charlotte Hornets used a big third-quarter showing to finally snag an elusive road victory as they knocked off the hometown Thunder, 116-103, on Monday, Dec. 11 in Oklahoma City. In the last two weeks, the team has lost games to the Orlando Magic, Dallas Mavericks, Brooklyn Nets, as well as Charlotte.

The Thunder would cut the Charlotte lead to 10 midway through the fourth - but that's as close as it would get.

"Crazy as this may sound, I really, really, really was excited about the way we played offense tonight", Thunder coach Billy Donovan said. He beat the whole Hornets team down the floor. Without him, Westbrook seems to lose an extra element of the restraint which he already lacks, as evidenced by his 7-29 performance against Memphis, and Carmelo Anthony takes more shots than he should given his lack of efficiency this season. It's no panic mode, but we have to start playing better. They got pretty much everything they wanted all night, having no trouble scoring on a defense allowing just 99 PPG coming in. Against an elite defensive team, this will need to improve if they are to have a chance. "For us to come back and keep our composure and get the lead back up was definitely gratifying". Adams finished up the evening with 11 points and 10 rebounds - hitting 5/6 from the field. This matchup will have a big say on the outcome of this game. The Hornets are losers of three straight and seven of their last eight and are beginning a two-game trip at Oklahoma City before heading to Western Conference-leading Houston on Wednesday.

This season, Lamb's sixth, he's averaging career-high numbers in points, rebounds (4.9) and assists (3.1).

Walker's 14.7 points per game against OKC is a career low. He let fly from 3-point range and swished.

According to oddsmakers at, the Thunder are a 7-point favorite on the spread line.

They're just hoping the long game will solve some of the issues, especially the nearly inexplicable ones in the third quarter.

NOTES: Hornets C Cody Zeller will undergo arthroscopic surgery to fix a torn medial meniscus in his left knee, the team announced before the game.

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