Westbrook beats CP3 in OKC; LeBron and Miami show some fight

Russell Westbrook (photo. Jeff Forney)

Russell Westbrook (photo. Jeff Forney)

It’s officially Back to the Future time for the Hornets. After starting the season winning 11 of their first 12 games and eliminating all of the persistent rumors about Chris Paul leaving, they’ve since lost four out of five and reality is beginning to set in. Last night in Oklahoma City — 24 hours after blowing a 17-point lead in a loss to the Spurs — the Hornets led for much of the second half until a flurry of OKC awesomeness sent N.O. home with another loss … Late in the fourth quarter, the Hornets were up by four before Russell Westbrook (25 pts, 11 asts) hit a foul-line jumper. Then Kevin Durant (26 pts, 11 rebs) snuffed Emeka Okafor at the rim, leading to a fast break where Westbrook lost CP3 on a ridiculous in-and-out, was fouled, and made both freebies to tie it up. Next, a bad Hornets possession turned into a steal for Thabo Sefolosha, resulting in the go-ahead free throws for Jeff Green. And while Paul had a big night (17 pts, 14 asts, 5 stls), Westbrook ripped the game away from him in the end with a blow-by floater off the glass, then a trey from the top of the key after he sized up Paul and dropped the thunder on is head to cap an 11-0 run … People don’t give Jeff Green credit as a big-time athlete, but he made one of the best defensive plays we’ve seen all year when he caught CP3 from about 15 feet away to swat him at the rim in the second half … In an easy win over Washington, Miami got a huge first half from LeBron James (who finished with 30 points), a huge second half from Dwyane Wade (who finished with 26 points) and another 20-point effort from Chris Bosh. In other words, Miami did what they have proven to be good at — beating up on bad teams … After conflicting rumor/reports from Monday said LeBron was either leading a revolt against Erik Spoelstra or campaigning for Spoelstra for Coach of the Year, the Heat played with a lot more energy and fire and looked like a group that has each other’s backs. Juwan Howard was sent to the showers when he shoved Hilton Armstrong for Armstrong’s flagrant foul on Joel Anthony, and later on, James Jones got into a scuffle with Kirk Hinrich … Meanwhile, Spoelstra notched his 100th win as an NBA head coach. Wonder if anyone threw him a party. Do you think he’ll hit 150 this season? …

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