Thunder vs. Nets: Minus Harris, New Jersey Falls To OKC in Triple Overtime
With Devin Harris in street clothes, Jordan Farmar, Brook Lopez and Anthony Morrow stepped up their games, but it was not enough as the Oklahoma City Thunder came out on top, 123-120 after three overtimes.
The Thunder were without star Kevin Durant but got more than enough production from Russell Westbrook and Jeff Green, who went for 38 and 37 points, respectively.
Westbrook also had 15 rebounds and nine assists. He was the only Thunder player to attempt a shot in the third overtime, going 4-of-6 and scoring 13 points in that period.
Green hit 4-of-5 threes on the night and nailed three free throws at the end of the second overtime after he was fouled by Stephen Graham.
New Jersey was ahead by three at the time of Graham's foul, and it is unclear whether he was ordered to foul in an attempt to prevent Oklahoma City from putting up a three or just made a bad play.
Lopez, Farmar and Morrow combined for 81 points, although Lopez struggled mightily with his shot, going just 7-of-23.
The young center did, however, get to the free throw line 17 times and connected on 14 of his attempts. He also notched his first double-double of the season by grabbing 11 rebounds.
Farmar gave his team everything they could have asked for, scoring 28 points on 12-of-21 shooting and dishing out nine assists. He also went 3-for-6 on threes.
Despite the loss, do you find it at all encouraging that the Nets were able to hang with the Durant-less Thunder for so long?
Morrow had what was, at the time, the biggest shot of the game when he drilled a three as the buzzer sounded at the end of regulation to force the first overtime. He finished with 25 points, five rebounds and five assists. He was 3-of-6 on his three point attempts and 4-for-4 at the charity stripe.
It's a tough loss for the Nets to swallow, as they rallied from being down as many as eight points in the fourth quarter and had chances to put the Thunder away at the ends of the first and second overtime periods.
Their inability to close out games was again evident in those first 10 minutes of overtime, something that has plagued this team all year.
It's somewhat expected that a team in New Jersey's situation would have trouble burying teams late. The hope is that in the second half of the season losses such as this one turn into wins.
The Nets also got solid contributions from Travis Outlaw, who scored 16 points on a 7-of-14 shooting night, and Kris Humphries, who pulled down 15 rebounds and blocked two shots.
Superstar players are what separate teams in the NBA, and the Thunder appear to have one in the making in Westbrook.
His experience with Team USA this summer has greatly benefited him, and the team will be mighty troublesome for their opponents come playoff time—assuming Durant and Westbrook are both healthy.
This was the second of back-to-back games for New Jersey. After playing in New York Tuesday night, they had three players go over 50 minutes, one who was on the floor for 46 and another at 39 Wednesday night.
They now have one day to rest up before visiting Charlotte Friday night.
Harris will be out for that game as well, and New Jersey needs to get the type of production they got from the supporting cast against the Thunder to beat the Bobcats.
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