Brooklyn Nets vs. Oklahoma City Thunder: Live Blog, Results and Game Highlights
The Brooklyn Nets have defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder 110-93. Joe Johnson led the way with 33 points. Kevin Durant was tossed late in the game, the first ejection of his career.
Three Reasons Why the Nets Beat the Thunder
The Nets frustrated Kevin Durant to the point that he earned his first ever ejection on a late double-technical. Russell Westbrook stepped in nicely, but Durant was relatively contained and the Thunder committed an uncharacteristic 17 turnovers. Oklahoma City did not see a lot of easy looks, and even once they tied the game in the fourth quarter, the Nets were able to clamp down and pull away.
2. Bench Scoring
The Nets have a lot of depth in their roster. They gave Reggie Evans the start tonight, and he scored just one point. But the reserves supplemented great nights from Joe Johnson, Deron Williams and Brook Lopez. Andray Blatche continued his strong play with 10 points and five rebounds. Kris Humphries added 11 points and seven rebounds. While Kevin Martin had 11 points off the bench for Oklahoma City, it just wasn't enough as the wheels fell off late in the fourth quarter for the Thunder.
3. Free Throws
Both teams shot 50 percent from the floor in the game, and though it seemed the Nets (especially Joe Johnson) were raining three-pointers, both teams shot well from downtown. The Nets were 9-of-17 while the Thunder were 8-of-19. But OKC committed a few fouls early in the fourth quarter, and suddenly the Nets were shooting free throws on every foul. They were a stellar 25-of-29 from the charity stripe, mostly in the fourth after shooting very few early in the game. The Thunder attempted only 17 free throws, making 13 of them. The gap in foul shooting helped slow the pace of the game and keep the Thunder from running away with it.
And that's how the race was won.
Here's the full stats at the final.
Star Player Final Stats
Joe Johnson: 33 PTS, 5 REB
Deron Williams: 19 PTS, 13 AST, 5 STL
Brook Lopez: 25 PTS, 5 REB
Oklahoma City Thunder
Russell Westbrook: 26 PTS, 10 AST, 3 STL, 6 TO
Kevin Durant: 27 PTS, 5 AST, 2 STL, 5 TO
Serge Ibaka: 14 PTS, 8 REB, 5 BLK
Joe Johnson is the player of the game. He had 33 points on 11-of-19 shooting, including 5-of-10 from beyond the arc. He also added five boards and three dimes.
If this Joe Johnson played every night, the Nets would be a contender for the NBA Finals. Consistency has been the challenge for the Nets, especially Johnson and Deron Williams.
Nets 110, THUNDER 93 — FINAL.
If Brooklyn can continue to play at anywhere close to this level going forward, P.J. Carlesimo could be the coach until at least the end of the season. Depending on how the playoffs go, it could be quite some time.
P.J. hasn't had much sustained success in the NBA, but the Nets have looked very, very good tonight. The Thunder were knocking on the door, but couldn't take the lead and ended up getting blown out in the fourth quarter.
Nets 110, THUNDER 91 —0:30 REMAINING IN THE 4TH QUARTER
Oh dear. The frustration is mounting. An offensive foul is called on Kendrick Perkins. Kevin Durant disagrees, opens his mouth and gets ejected from the game. Wow. Perhaps he said something about the referee's mother?
You don't see that too often from Durant, but this has got to be a very frustrating game. You can stick a fork in the Thunder.
Boos are raining down from the stands at the officials. Feels like the Bronx.
Nets 106, THUNDER 90 —1:36 REMAINING IN THE 4TH QUARTER
Where have these Nets been the past month? The stars are out tonight, and they're beating up on the best team in the NBA in their own building.
Expect a lot of free throws down the stretch, but this one seems out of reach.
Nets 104, THUNDER 90 —2:10 REMAINING IN THE 4TH QUARTER
Remember when the Thunder tied the game on the Kevin Martin triple? The Nets have outscored them 14-3 since then.
Brook Lopez with a pretty move to push the lead further. And then makes a nice move to get a three-point play. He's been hitting the gym.
Nets 102, THUNDER 90 —2:30 REMAINING IN THE 4TH QUARTER
Two thoughts: Russell Westbrook might be even more exciting to watch than Kyrie Irving. And can it still be called a "jumper" if Brook Lopez shoots it flat-footed?
By the way, the Thunder just committed their 17th turnover. A team that wins 80 percent of their games just does not do that.
Nets 97, THUNDER 88 —3:15 REMAINING IN THE 4TH QUARTER
The Thunder have committed a foul on each of the last two Nets possessions. Do they know they're in the bonus?
The Nets are 11-of-12 from the line in the fourth quarter. And they heading back after Joe Johnson gets Kevin Durant in the air with a fake. The Thunder just aren't playing smart on D.
Nets 95, THUNDER 86 —4:50 REMAINING IN THE 4TH QUARTER
Russell Westbrook goes coast-to-coast earlier in the game.
Why should Keith Bogans not shoot three-pointers? Because he can't even hit the rim. Airball.
Nets 89, THUNDER 85 —5:58 REMAINING IN THE 4TH QUARTER
The Nets hadn't taken many free throws tonight, but they'll be in the bonus for the rest of the fourth quarter. That's huge for them. OKC will have to watch the fouls.
Nets 89, THUNDER 85 —5:58 REMAINING IN THE 4TH QUARTER
The Nets are an unreal 9-of-14 from three-point range tonight. But Durant sinks one to even the balance a bit.
And now Kevin Martin hits a triple to tie the score. It hasn't been tied since the opening tip.
Nets 85, THUNDER 85 —6:48 REMAINING IN THE 4TH QUARTER
OKC does a great job of putting bigs on the baseline so helping on drives is tough for the D. Collison was just out of bounds twice, though.
— Beckley Mason (@BeckleyMason) January 3, 2013
OKC have committed 15 turnovers which have led to 20 points for Brooklyn. That could be the story of the game.
Collison steps on the baseline and the Nets will have the ball after the timeout.
Nets 83, THUNDER 79 —8:48 REMAINING IN THE 4TH QUARTER
Sefolosha is not having a good night. He just bit hard on a Joe Johnson ball fake and he'll shoot two free throws. Brooklyn will need to slow the pace and keep the Thunder from outrunning them.
Johnson makes them both.
Nets 81, THUNDER 77 — 9:30 REMAINING IN THE 4TH QUARTER
Westbrook had a chance to give OKC the lead, but he can't convert the jumper from the top of the key.
Brooklyn looks tentative now and the crowd is very loud. They're clinging to the lead by the narrowest of margins.
Nets 79, THUNDER 77 — 10:06 REMAINING IN THE 4TH QUARTER
Third Quarter Star Update
Joe Johnson: 23 PTS, 5-of-8 3PT
Deron Williams: 13 PTS, 11 AST, 3 STL
Brook Lopez: 18 PTS, 5 REB
Oklahoma City Thunder
Russell Westbrook: 24 PTS, 7 AST
Kevin Durant: 21 PTS, 4 AST, 4 TO
Serge Ibaka: 14 PTS, 7 REB, 5 BLK
The Nets had a chance at a two-for-one but didn't take advantage. OKC can't convert on the other end.
Brooklyn scores just 15 points in the third quarter, but that's triple their output from Monday's third quarter. And they can't get to the line either. They have taken just eight free throws tonight.
The Thunder are out-running and out-gunning the Nets so far in the second half.
Nets 76, THUNDER 72 — END OF THE 3RD QUARTER
The Thunder have had no luck on their last five possessions. Luckily for them, Brook Lopez finally misses a shot. Durant sinks two free throws on the other end.
Nets 75, THUNDER 70 — 1:06 REMAINING IN THE 3RD QUARTER
Maybe we shouldn't blame the Nets for how the third has gone.
This is less of the Nets failing to play well in the third and more the Thunder doing what the Nets did in the 1st and hitting every jumper
— Tim Bontemps (@TimBontemps) January 3, 2013
Ian Eagle just said, "Brook Lopez with a man's jam." I'm not sure what exactly that means, but he did convert a slam dunk.
Nets 73, THUNDER 68 — 3:07 REMAINING IN THE 3RD QUARTER
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