Brooklyn Nets, 110 Oklahoma City Thunder, 93
The Oklahoma City Thunder suffered its third home loss of the season at the hands of the revitalized Brooklyn Nets Wednesday at the Chesapeake Energy Arena.
The Nets jumped out to an early first-quarter advantage and eventually saw their lead grow to 23 points late in the first half. However, the Thunder battled back in the third quarter and tied the game off a Kevin Martin three with 7:11 left in the contest.
Brooklyn didn't let up and went on a 24-6 run to close out their 17th win of the season.
- The Nets shot nearly 70 percent from the floor in the first period with Brook Lopez and Joe Johnson combining for 22 of their first 33 points. Johnson torched Oklahoma City going 5-6 in the period including 2-3 from long range. The Thunder looked lackadaisical defensively and at times in the period it seemed Thabo Sefolosha was playing defense by himself.
- Brook Lopez had his way with Thunder frontcourt. He scored 10 of his 25 points in the first quarter, setting the tone for the entire game. The Nets outscored the Thunder in the paint, 42-36, and outrebounded them 38-34. Lopez proved to be a tough matchup for Kendrick Perkins with his ability to knock down the mid-range jumper and play outside the paint.
- The Nets lost to San Antonio Monday thanks to an atrocious third quarter in which they were outscored 30-5. It was more of the same against Oklahoma City. The Thunder cut Brooklyn's 16-point, halftime lead to four going into the final 12 minutes. Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant combined for 20 points in the third and the Thunder outscored the Nets 27-15. Brooklyn came out of the locker room and mirrored Oklahoma City's lethargic first-quarter play.
- Johnson continued to carry the Nets down the stretch with 13 of his game-high 33 points coming in the second half. A lot has been made of Johnson's contract, and he's been called a paper-giant on more than one occasion. However, Johnson proved he could play up to his salary against the Thunder. He was easily the MVP of the game.
- Deron Williams and Westbrook consistently went after each other throughout the game. Williams has been criticized for his perimeter defense, but he gave Westbrook everything he wanted. Westbrook finished with 26 points and 10 assists, but turned it over six times. It wasn't until the third period that he finally got into a groove and Williams proved to be his biggest problem.
- The Thunder resorted to isolation offense down the stretch. It was partly out of frustration and partly due to Brooklyn's feisty defense. The frustration mounted to the point Durant couldn't take it anymore and fell victim to a double-technical ejection, the first of his career. Durant had choice words for referee Danny Crawford as he walked off the court after a Perkins offensive foul.
PLAYER OF THE NIGHT
- Joe Johnson: 33 POINTS / 11-19 (5-10 3PT) / 5 REBOUNDS
STAT OF THE NIGHT
- OKC: 19 TURNOVERS (30 POINTS)
It's hard to see why Brooklyn is just two games over .500 after thumping Oklahoma City. They have a nice mix of talent and a true point guard in Deron Williams. They also have great size with Brook Lopez and a decent bench led by Kris Humphries. Plus, Joe Johnson has the ability to go for 30 on any given night.
They are now 3-1 under Carlesimo who doesn't seem nearly as laid back as former coach Avery Johnson. He could be the right guy for the job at the moment, even though two of their wins came against Charlotte and Cleveland in Brooklyn. I could see them righting the ship and becoming a dangerous team in the East, but they can't hang with Miami. They could make a deep run in the playoffs if they get hot at the right time, but at the end of the day, there's no competing with LeBron and the gang.
- "We just played two of the best three offensive teams in the league. We didn't play any defense against one and we defended this team about as well as you can defend them." -P.J. Carlesimo
- "I wasn't worried about the third quarter. I was worried whether we could keep guys fresh enough. The guys off the bench did a great job for us." -P.J. Carlesimo
- "Gerald Wallace is a monster. You want to talk about something that wasn't in San Antonio? Gerald Wallace." -P.J. Carlesimo
- "There is no need to panic. I think every time we lose around here everybody wants to go bananas." Russell Westbrook
- "We had 20 turnovers and gave up 30 points off of those 20 turnovers. It's tough to win when you play a very good team that's hot and give them extra possessions." -Scott Brooks