Hornets guard Brian Roberts buried a three-pointer with nine seconds left to make it an 89-88 game in favor of the Thunder. Kevin Durant then made only one of two free throws, but Greivis Vasquez's three-point attempt with two seconds left rimmed out.
Durant scored 25 of his game-high 35 points in the second half to help the Thunder overcome an eight-point halftime deficit, shooting 11-20 from the field and 12-14 from the free-throw line.
Kevin Martin added 17 points off the bench for Oklahoma City, scoring eight in the fourth quarter and knocking down a three-pointer with 6:20 left to finally give the Thunder the lead. Russell Westbrook pitched in 14 points and nine assists in the win.
Roberts led all Hornets scorers with 16 points on the night.
The win moves Oklahoma City to an 18-4 record, tied with the San Antonio Spurs for the best record in the league. The Thunder are home against the Sacramento Kings on Friday, while the Hornets host the Minnesota Timberwolves on that day.