Despite blowing a 16-point lead, Oklahoma city held off a furious three-point barrage by the Brooklyn Nets to win 117-111 to improve to 15-4 on the season. Oklahoma City won their sixth straight game, led by Kevin Durant who had 32 points, six assists and five rebounds. The Thunder now own a seven game winning streak over the Nets.
You knew it was going to be a good night when Kevin Durant started the game with a big there pointer from the side to start the game. Thabo Sefolosha wasn’t to be out done though, he added two threes at the beginning of the game to contribute to a quick 9-6 lead for the Thunder. From that point on, there were five lead changes and five ties. The quarter was capped off by Kevin Martin hitting a three off the glass giving the Thunder a 31-28 end of quarter lead.
With the Nets trying to make it a game, Oklahoma City continued their hot shooting. Oklahoma City hit 11 of 17 shots in the quarter to extend the lead. It was a quarter of monster dunks from Durant and Russell Westbrook. Almost as if they both decided they were going to rip down the new arena by dunks.Highlight of the quarter might have been a missed dunk. Durant came up the lane and went in for the huge dunk against Andray Blatche, however, he was fouled and missed the dunk. The crowd loved it and might have been the best dunk of the year had it gone it.
With the Thunder leading the Nets 43-40 with 6:25 left until halftime, Oklahoma City went on a 20-8 run to end the quarter. Oklahoma City hit 7-for-10 over the final 6:25 of the quarter, while limiting Brooklyn to just 4-for-15 in the final minutes. Oklahoma City was on fire from three during that stretch as well, going 3-for-5, helping to extend their double-digit lead.
Third quarter was a different tale from the first half. After Russell Westbrook picked up his fourth foul, Brooklyn went three crazy. Brooklyn hit six three-pointers in the third quarter, including four by Gerald Wallace. Brooklyn outscored the Thunder 38-29 over the 12 minute span. Oklahoma City was outscored 26-15 over the final 7:23 of the quarter. A lot of the run was done when Westbrook picked up his fourth foul and coach Scott Brooks sat Kevin Durant for his resting period. It really was a gamble, and it back fired.
Oklahoma City shot 60.9 percent for the game. The Thunder won this game despite Brooklyn taking 25 more shots. Russell Westbrook was in foul trouble in the second half, but he contributed 23 points and nine assists. Serge Ibaka chipped in 18 points, including 12 points in the third quarter. Thabo Sefolosha added 12 points, and 10 were from the first quarter.
The fourth quarter was a solid hold by Oklahoma City. They came out and put a little distance between them and Brooklyn, going up 93-88 with 10:53 to go. Then the Thunder pushed it up to 97-89 with 9:36 in the game. Oklahoma City and Brooklyn traded baskets from there on out, and Oklahoma City hit their free throws to secure the victory. It did get really interesting when Westbrook picked up his fifth foul 4:38 to go in the game. Brooklyn got it within two points multiple times, but every time Oklahoma City had an answer for the Nets.
Keys to the Game
Strong Second Quarter: A
Oklahoma City used a 10 point advantage, sparked by a 20-8 run to end the quarter to give Oklahoma City a 13-point lead into halftime. It was huge as Brooklyn couldn’t hit anything in the quarter, and Oklahoma City shot 64 percent in the quarter. Kevin Durant had eight second quarter points.
Russell Westbrook had five turnovers, but as a team the Thunder had just 12 turnovers tonight. It’s the lowest amount of the season for the Thunder. Oklahoma City for three quarters were fantastic taking care of the ball. Crisp passing and smart decision making all night for the Thunder.
Bench Play: C
While the Thunder won the scoring match up between the teams 21-16. However, the defense and movement by the Nets was just as good. I feel Oklahoma City let the Nets back into this game with their lack of bench defense.