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Strong Bench Play Helps Thunder To Fifth-Straight Win

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James Harden came off the bench to score 14 points in the Thunder's victory over the Hornets. (AP Photo) James Harden came off the bench to score 14 points in the Thunder's victory over the Hornets. (AP Photo)
New Orleans, Louisiania -

It was a slow start for the Thunder, but strong bench play and a late first half run got the team going and propelled Oklahoma City to a 95-85 win over New Orleans.

Despite the slow start, there wasn't much evidence of fatigue even though Wednesday's game was the Thunder's fifth-straight game in six days.

New Orleans went 3-for-3 to take an early 6-0 lead on the Thunder who didn't make a field goal until Kevin Durant found the net on a three-point basket more than four minutes into the game.

The play of the Thunder bench came up big in the second quarter. The bench put up 19 points in the second to tie the game. They were helped by Durant who started the game 0-3, but hit 11 of his final 14 shots before the break to give OKC a one point lead at the break.

The Thunder came out firing in the second half and went on a 10-2 run out of the gate.

New Orleans came back in the fourth and cut the lead to four thanks to big play in the paint. The Hornets outscored the Thunder 42-32 inside, but only made 1-of-16 from three point range and missed their last 12.

OKC shot 47.9 percent from the field and managed a staggering 10 blocks.

Durant totaled 29 points and 10 rebounds while Russell Westbrook added 22 points and seven assists.

Off the bench, James Harden scored 14 points, Nick Collison eight and Reggie Jackson tallied six points to help the Thunder move to 10-2 on the year.

Chris Kaman and Carl Landry had 17 points for New Orleans, which lost for the seventh time in eight games.

OKC returns to the court Saturday, Jan. 14 hosting the New York Knicks at 7 p.m.

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