In what was once a tied ball game with just over seven minutes to go, the Brooklyn Nets used those final seven minutes to blow out the Oklahoma City Thunder 110-93. Russell Westbrook led the Thunder with 26 points, 10 assists on 11-of-19 shooting. The loss dropped the Thunder to 24-7 on the season. It also ended their league best 12-game home win streak. Kevin Durant was also ejected in this game. More on that later.
In the first half, the Brooklyn Nets came to play. Brooklyn started out by answering Oklahoma City’s free throw with a quick 9-0 run. Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant hit a jumper from the right side of the free throw area, cutting it to 9-3, but then Brooklyn came down and scored quickly. Oklahoma City had to call a time out. Things continued to get worse after Oklahoma City cut the lead to 14-7. Brooklyn went on a 13-2 run, pushing the lead up before Oklahoma City actually did something. Brooklyn extended their lead to as much as 16 points in the quarter. Nets led 33-19 after one quarter.
We’ve been starting slow lately, I get that. It continued here. Brooklyn scored the first four points of the quarter before Oklahoma City could even do anything. Another Joe Johnson three-pointer put brooklyn up 45-24 in the quarter. The Thunder allowed the Nets to extend their lead to 23 points off another Johnson three-pointer. Brooklyn led 55-32 with 3:40 to go. Oklahoma City tried to climb back. They did outscore the Nets 13-6 the rest of the way, but it didn’t seem Oklahoma City had an answer for Joe Johnson who was just on fire in the first half. Brooklyn, though, led 61-45 after two quaters.
Oklahoma City decided to try to make a run at it in the third quarter. They did so, getting as close as four points in the quarter. It started with a 9-2 run to start the quarter, and it continued midway through the quarter as Russell Westbrook decided to make a run at things as well. His three ball with 7:51 in the quarter cut the deficit into single digits. It was the first time Oklahoma city had been in a single digit deficit since the first quarter.
Nets pushed the lead to 12 points again at 66-54, Oklahoma City went on another run. This time it was a 14-5 run over 2 1/2 minutes, cutting the lead to 71-68. The crowd was kicking it in gear, getting rowdy and the team was feeding off of it. The Thunder pushed it to 76-72 after three quarters. Westbrook missed a jumper, would have cut the lead down to two points.
Fourth quarter was a blast of energy from Oklahoma City, coming out and getting with in a single point at 78-77 with 11:14 left in the game. The Nets tried to push the Thunder away, but Oklahoma City was resilient. Johnson hit two free throws, pushing the Brooklyn lead to 85-79 with 8:34 remaining.
Back-to-back threes from Kevin Martin and Durant gave Oklahoma City a tie at 85-85 with 7:11 left in the game sent the ‘Peake into a frenzy. Brooklyn, just like all night, had an answer for the Thunder. Brooklyn went on a 8-0 run over the next 1:40 to give Brooklyn some cushion. It would be all they would need as the Nets got to the line 14 times over the final six minutes of the game, despite shooting just 45 percent down the stretch. They held Oklahoma City to 33 percent shooting (3-of-9) in the final six minutes. Oklahoma City turned it over five times, and for the first time ever, just seemed too tired to make another push. Shots were not falling.
The wild time of the night game with 1:57 left in the game, on a no-call, Kevin Durant was given a technical for arguing the no-call. Durant after he was given the technical told Dan Crawford, lead official for tonight. “That’s bullshit.” Crawford blew his whistle and ejected Durant. It was Duran’ts first career ejection. Durant dropped an F-Bomb, and never stopped walking to the locker room.
Post game, Durant said “I was frustrated, I’m allowed to be frustrated.”
Post Game Grades
Strong Second Quarter: C
Oklahoma City was outscored 28-26 in the quarter. They didn’t play any defense, but they had some offense. Joe Johnson was a beat for Brooklyn and ate the Thunder for lunch. Usually, most Thunder games can be dictated from this quarter, and tonight was no different. I’m sure if Oklahoma City could have cut into the lead going into halftime, might have been easier. Didn’t happen though.
Wow, the Thunder turned the ball over 20 times, leading to 30 points for Brooklyn. No way are you ever going to win a single game by turning the ball over 20 times and giving up 30 points on the turnovers. This really reminded me of the Atlanta game early in the season. You HAVE to take care of the ball. The five turnovers in the final six minutes of the game were just real daggers in our attempt to come back.
Bench Play: F
The bench was bad. Brooklyn outscored our bench 26-18. Three of that 18 was on a late three by Perry Jones III. Doesn’t even really count. Kevin Martin was almost non-existent for most of the game. He was a game worst (-20). He definitely is not known for his defense it seems like tonight. Bench really barely played tonight. Yeah, Martin played 27 minutes, but if I hadn’t seen the box score, I wouldn’t have believed you. Even Serge Ibaka played 37 minutes tonight. Has to be a regulation high for him again.
Ryan’s Thunder Thoughts
- The Thunder got off to a pretty awful start. They couldn’t get any shots to fall, played weak defense and had a couple of silly turnovers. They were down 11-3 after three minutes. They were down 33-19 after the first quarter.
- Russell Westbrook was playing poor defense early in the game, going for way too many steals and leaving his man open. I love a Westbrook steal and fast break dunk as much as the next guy, but he can’t go for them every defensive possession.
- The Thunder started poorly, but Brooklyn also came to play. They were outstanding in the first two quarters. They didn’t seem to be missing any shots. Joe Johnson and Brook Lopez were particularly unstoppable.
- This game got ugly quick. The Thunder was down by 21 points midway through the second quarter. They were down 16 at halftime.
- I’m not sure Brooklyn has ever played better than they did in the first half of this game; they were getting production from literally every team member.
- Reggie Evans had an unsurprising flop toward the end of the second quarter. He was the first NBA player to get a flopping fine, and clearly hasn’t learned from it.
- Brooklyn’s offense slowed down significantly at the start of the second half. They only had five points in the first five minutes.
- Serge Ibaka was on point with his shot blocking tonight, finishing with five swats.
- Kendrick Perkins is normally a disappointing rebounder, but he was really crashing the boards tonight. He finished with 11 rebounds.
- The Thunder dominated the third quarter, cutting deep into that 16-point deficit. They were down by just four going into the final quarter.
- Joe Johnson was playing like his old self tonight: the player the Atlanta Hawks gave that huge contract.
- Kevin Martin struggled for the second straight game tonight, unable to hit many shots. Relax; James Harden had bad nights too.
- The Thunder was down by as many as 23, but tied the game at 85 with seven minutes left in the game. However, they were down 93-85 just a couple minutes later. They were unable to climb out of the hole again.
- Thabo Sefolosha got five fouls about midway through the fourth quarter. This made guarding Joe Johnson that much more difficult.
- The Nets were in the bonus pretty early the fourth, and were able to build up another solid lead by taking advantage of it.
- Kevin Durant, Ibaka and Westbrook were basically the only positives for the Thunder offense tonight. They scored 67 of the Thunder’s 93 points.
- One has to wonder if P.J. Carlesimo brought some of his old bad Thunder mojo into the arena tonight. The Thunder had some good moments, but for the most part the team was pretty bad.
- The Thunder turned it over too many times, with Westbrook and Durant both finishing with more than five. The team totaled 19 turns for the game.
- Wow, Durant was ejected in the final two minutes. That’s the first time in his career. He was likely upset with the lack of calls in the Thunder’s favor. The Nets were only called for 13 fouls, while the Thunder were called for 23.
- More on the ejection: it seemed that KD was screaming some obscenities at referee Dan Crawford. Don’t think any less of him, he’s a young and passionate guy and may have even had some legitimate complaints. However, it would probably serve him better in the future to keep his cool.
- Brook Lopez was in beast mode tonight. He’s probably one of the best offensive centers in the NBA right now, if not the best.
- Brooklyn showed tonight how good they can be if their offense is rolling.
- Westbrook finished with another double double tonight, his 14th of the season.
- The Thunder made a great comeback attempt, but in the end Brooklyn was a little too much. They’ll look to rebound against Philadelphia on Friday.