The New Orleans Hornets can do little wrong these days.
On a night featuring multiple instances of last-second heroics, the Hornets had one of the most dramatic victories, edging the Oklahoma City Thunder, 91-89 on a David West hoop with 0.5 seconds remaining.
The Hornets have won nine straight games and done so with their defensive work. It didn’t look like it was going to be a stellar defensive effort as the Hornets allowed 33 points in the first quarter. That was their first time allowing 30 points in a quarter since January 5 against the Golden State Warriors (38 points in the fourth quarter), and It snapped a streak of 39 straight quarters without allowing a 30-point quarter (three OT included).
The Hornets regrouped and yielded only 56 points in the final three quarters to pull out the win. The Thunder shot 52 percent in the first quarter and committed only one turnover, but shot only 44 percent with 16 turnovers in the final three quarters. The Thunder’s 89 points marked the seventh time in this nine-game streak that the Hornets have held a team below 90 points.
Even superstar Kevin Durant fell victim to the Hornets stingy defense as he was held to zero points in the fourth quarter. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Durant’s 0-for-5 effort tied his largest "0-for" in any period of any game this season. He was also 0-for-5 from the floor in the Thunder's win against the Utah Jazz on November 15.
Monday's Game-winning FG
Less Than 2 Seconds Remaining
Elsewhere, three teams had dubious accomplishments in defeat:
• The Cleveland Cavaliers tied the franchise record with their 21st straight road loss, losing to the New Jersey Nets on a last-second shot by Brook Lopez. They’ll get a shot at No. 22 on Tuesday against a Boston Celtics team that is 21-3 at home.
• The Washington Wizards lost to the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden and lost their 21st straight on the road to start the season. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, that is the longest streak to start an NBA season since the 1997-98 Denver Nuggets started 0-22.
• The Minnesota Timberwolves set a team record for most points in a regulation loss with their 129-125 loss to the Houston Rockets. The only other time they lost when scoring at least 125 points came in 2008, when they lost to the San Antonio Spurs, 129-125 in double-overtime.