Defense wins in Charlotte
By Addam Francisco
Oklahoma City showed up in Charlotte, North Carolina against (former Thunder player) Jeremy Lamb, Kemba Walker and the 17-16 Hornets by improving their record to 24-10 in a 109-90 victory and their second of 2016.
Kevin Durant had 29 points along with 16 from Russell off a combined 12-of-28 shooting which wasn't a great shooting percentage, but thanks to Anthony Morrow's 12 points off 4-of-9 shooting all four makes from three Oklahoma City was able to push past the Hornets not to mention, this is his hometown. Also, the emergence of playing time for rookie Cameron Payne (who played 20 minutes) has been beneficial for Oklahoma City. It's clear every game Cameron plays, he gets more and more comfortable on the floor. He's one of those players that you can't sleep on, because two or three years from now he could be a premier guard in the league. It's also clear that Payne has officially overtaken D.J. Augustin's back-up point guard spot, presumably for the rest of the season, which is a huge step for him and his development with OKC. Don't want Cam to fall into the same spot as one current and other former Thunder players (Mitch McGary, Perry Jones, Jeremy Lamb and Cole Aldridge).
Other than Kemba Walker's 32 points, no one else had that big of an impact at all. Jeremy Lamb had 9 points off 3-of-12 shooting which is typical for him but surely he had some sort of jitters playing against his old squad that subsequently ditched him last season. Even though he's actually having a pretty good season coming off the bench for Charlotte averaging 11 points and 4.4 rebounds this season, and has scored the third most points of any player that hasn't started one game.
Oklahoma City will play again on Monday night at home against DeMarcus Cousins and the 13-20 Sacramento Kings.