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Sluggish third quarter dooms Thunder against Hornets

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Alex Abrines (8) shoots in front of Charlotte Hornets forward Frank Kaminsky (44) in the first quarter of an NBA basketball game in Oklahoma City, Monday, Dec. 11, 2017. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

Dwight Howard scored 23 points to help the Charlotte Hornets beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 116-103 on Monday night.

Kemba Walker had 19 points for the Hornets, who had lost seven of eight. Marvin Williams scored 18, and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist finished with 17 points.

It was Charlotte's second road win of the season in 12 tries.

Russell Westbrook had 30 points and seven assists and Paul George scored 20 points for the Thunder after missing the previous two games with a right calf contusion.

Charlotte shot 53 percent from the field against one of the league's best defensive teams. The Bobcats made 13 of 25 3-point attempts.

The game was tied at 66 in the third quarter when Charlotte went on a run and never relinquished momentum. A 3-pointer by Williams made it 74-66, leading to a Thunder timeout.

Charlotte kept right on rolling. A 3-pointer by Frank Kaminsky put the Hornets up 86-68, and a layup by Kidd-Gilchrist made it a 20-point game. The Hornets made 7 of 10 3-pointers in the quarter to go up 92-74 at the end of the period.

Oklahoma City cut the deficit to 11 on a dunk by Westbrook, but the Hornets quickly regained control for good.

TIP-INS

Hornets: G Nicolas Batum sat out with a sore left elbow. ... G Jeremy Lamb, who started his career with the Thunder in 2012, started for the Hornets. He finished with 14 points and five rebounds on 6-of-17 shooting. ... The Hornets outrebounded the Thunder 41-39.

Thunder: Defensive stopper Andre Roberson sat out with a left ankle sprain. ... Carmelo Anthony scored 11 points and passed Vince Carter to move into 22nd place in NBA history with 24,605 points. ... Anthony was issued a technical foul in the second quarter for complaining too much to official Tony Brothers.

UP NEXT

Hornets: Visit the Houston Rockets on Wednesday.

Thunder: Visit the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday. It will be George's first time back in Indiana since he was traded for Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis in July.

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Follow Cliff Brunt on Twitter: www.twitter.com/CliffBruntAP .

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More NBA basketball: https://apnews.com/tag/NBAbasketball .

Check out the team sites for the Charlotte Hornets and the Oklahoma City Thunder for more game coverage.

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